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MATILDA: A Reason for Active Constructive Communication with Your Child

How parents can use a "growth mindset" to instill hope and curiosity

Written by Shaleen Porwal

MATILDA: A Reason for Active Constructive Communication with Your Child

01 Shaleen is a father, positive parenting education practitioner, and certified positive educator at The Flourishing Center in NYC.

02 Parents can make the best use of stay-at-home time to have quality conversations with their children.

Amidst the negativity of covid-19 news, it can be hard to think of positives. However, we can still make efforts to engage in meaningful interactions and activities that distract our mind.

One such thing that we've been doing as a family, is reading books and watching child-friendly movies. My son and I recently finished a very famous and inspiring book, Matilda, and then watched the film by the same name.

At the end of the movie, he asked me something exciting. "Dadda, when is the second season of Matilda going to come?" What followed was a series of back and forth questions that went like this:

Me: Well, it is a movie that is adapted from the book written by Roald Dahl, that you have already read. It could potentially have a sequel...

Ivan: When will it come then?

Me: I guess someone needs to write the book first...

Ivan: Who will write the book?

Me: Anyone can write that book; in fact, you can write it.

Ivan: Really? Can I? Then how will it be a movie?

Me: Yes, you can, using your strengths of imagination, creativity and humour, you can definitely write a book. And when you write, you should be able to feel it, and hope that other people can connect with it too. Because when they do, your work will be loved by them. For it to become a movie, producers will need to get on board.

Ivan: Who is a producer?

Me: A producer is a person who invests money to make a movie because it requires resources and people. You need a set, cameras, costumes, actors, and the like. And they all need to be paid for the work during the process of movie-making.

Ivan: Ohh...I get it. But the first one was written by Roald Dahl, can I still write the second part of it?

Me: Why not? In fact, I know of a book series identified by the name Millennium Series, that has two different authors. The first three books were written by Stieg Larsson and the next three have been written by David Lagercrantz.

Ivan: okay... (deep sigh)

Now, our conversation might have ended there, but there is now a new belief in his mind that if we imagine something and ask questions about the possibility of this imagined thing, we can make an attempt to do it ourselves.

Besides, there is a reason why Matilda is his favourite book and movie to date: he feels the urge to help people come out of a situation where they are stuck. He admires the strengths portrayed by the main character — humility, curiosity, perspective, love of learning, bravery, honesty, zest, fairness.

It' easy to be overwhelmed by the questions that children ask. However, there are many moments, that when handled with a growth mindset and active constructive communication, can make young minds intrigued and inspired.

Original Series

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