October November 2020

Page 1

ECOTRAIL

Registered with the Registrar of Newspapers in India under serial No MAHENG/2015/65640

TM

October November 2020

Vol. No. 6 Issue No. 1

Price Rs.10

EDUCATOR'S COLUMN how do yOur children grow?

ON THE BRINK Asiatic lion

IN THE SPOTLIGHT DECODING POP CULTURE


CONTENTs

02 04 05 06 08 10 11

FROM THE EDITOR Parenting - an Emotion

ON THE BRINK

04

Asiatic Lion

EDUCATOR'S COLUMN

How Do Your Children Grow? - Alka Deshpande

05

CAMP STORIES

Achievement Unlocked

06

IN THE SPOTLIGHT

Decoding Pop Culture

08

COUNTRY CHRONICLES Pause Before You Begin

trailblazers recommends Importance of Outdoor Play

LOOK FOR US ON Trailblazers.TheOutdoorSchool

Printed, Published and Edited by RANJAN BISWAS on behalf of TRAILBLAZERS ADVENTURE TRAVEL PVT. LTD. Edenwoods, Bay House, Ground Floor A, Gladys Alwares Marg, Off Pokhran Road No. 2, Thane (West) 400 610

Trailblazers - The Outdoor School Download softcopy from www.trailblazersindia.com Call us to participate in our camps/activities: www.thetrailblogger15.blogspot.com www.trailblazersfoundation.blogspot.com 022 21739737 or 022 21739732 OR email us on: contact@trailblazersindia.com

trailblazers.theoutdoorschool

ECOTRAIL, OCTOBER OCTOBER NOVEMBER NOVEMBER 2020 2020 2 ECOTRAIL,

11

Editor

: Ranjan Biswas

Associate Editor

: Sachin Sata

Research and Content Editor

: Nayantara Deshpande

Reporters : Nayantara Deshpande, Aalap Kulkarni Photo credits : Nayantara Deshpande, Aalap Kulkarni

www.trailblazersindia.com www.trailblazersindia.com


Dear Readers, This issue focuses on a topic close to my heart - Parenting. An odd topic to write on, it is a complex natural phenomenon. As we climb up the economic ladder and the education value chain, we tend to believe that all aspects of life should be structured and organized. However, the right sperm meeting the right egg at the right time is both science and Divine. Similarly, parenting is not a course you can learn overnight or even in the span of a month. It is a combination of many factors and circumstances, which cannot be explained through a step by step guide or put into a flowchart, despite what the world of marketing would want you to believe. A large aspect of parenting is driven by impulses, individuals need to let their paternal and maternal instincts take over completely. Recently, I have noticed new age parents subdue these to cater to their modern lifestyles. The child is crying and seeking their attention, at the same time their phone rings, instinctively they tend to attend to their phone first. Their own mothers would have done just the opposite. The world can wait, not her child’s needs. Parenting is not a method it is an emotion, a special bond between parents and children. Each child is unique and there is no set formula to bring them up. The driving force is undoubtedly love; it is an incredibly strong factor required to bring up an emotionally healthy child. Empathy, compassion, and respect are other vital values that your child should be showered with. By respect I refer to not just respecting the child as a person alone but respecting the child’s soul itself. Our aspirations and plans for our children often get in the way of trying to understand them. This is further elaborated in our Educator’s Column in this issue. You shall learn from the article on fixed and growth mindsets, the importance of encouraging children in the right way. Refrain from judging your child, love them unconditionally and they will reciprocate. Never resort to comparison and promote a love for learning and facing challenges. As parents, one of the crucial roles you play is in disciplining your child, this should be done in a rational manner. Do not support his/her wrong behaviour and know when to be stern and draw the line. Children observe and imbibe behaviours from parents; therefore, it is of great importance that you practice what you preach in every way. If you want them to eat their vegetables, then make sure both parents also eat the vegetables. Which brings me to another practice that helps strengthen the familial bonds. Having dinner with the family is often not given its due importance. Sharing the day you had, exchanging ideas, knowing what happened at school or college is a good way to teach your child the importance of communication and sharing feelings. The last stage of parenting and one of the most difficult is the act of letting go. There comes a time when you cannot fight your child’s battles and must let them find their own way in the maze of life. As a parent our primary job is to support the children to live; who then become independent people capable of taking decisions and thinking for themselves. We prepare the child with education, sports and our love to ultimately help them cope with the big bad lovely world. For people wanting to start a family, know that the act of rearing a child calls for sacrifices. There is no other way about it. You will have to sacrifice meeting with friends, time, holidays and even work, if your children need you. This is the single most important rule of parenting, be there for your child, especially during the formative years. Having said that, being a parent is also the most rewarding experience a person can go through. We hope this issue gives you some insights into the intricate and amazing world of parenting. Ranjan Biswas Editor- Ecotrail | Managing Director, Trailblazers Adventure Travel Pvt Ltd | Trustee- Trailblazers Foundation

www.trailblazersindia.com www.trailblazersindia.com

ECOTRAIL, OCTOBER NOVEMBER 2020

3


ON THE BRINK

ASIATIC LION

Panthera leo persica

Within the scrub forests of the Gir National Park you can find the only surviving population of the Asiatic lion, declared as endangered by the IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature). Once, these lions roamed from the Middle East to India but were hunted down to a small population that can be found only in Gujarat, making them an endemic species. African and Asiatic lions can be distinguished based on their size with Asiatic lions being the smaller cat. Males also have a smaller and darker mane which makes their ears always visible unlike in African lions. However, the most striking difference is a longitudinal fold on the abdomen of the Asiatic lion which is seen in both males and females. The females are the primary hunters that work together to take down large prey. Chital, Sambar, Wild Boar and Nilgai are the most common prey species for them. Due to the proximity of villages, the lions are also known to feed on cattle quite often. The lion’s greatest threat is the deterioration of the gene pool due to constant inbreeding. In recent times, scientists have also noticed an increase in mortality rates due to the canine virus distemper. There is a silver lining for the future of the Asiatic lion in the form of a proposed relocation of a small population to the Kuno Palpur Wildlife Sanctuary in Madhya Pradesh. A report released in June 2020, showed that the population has risen by 29% in the last five years with the current population being 674. Conservationists are also taking great efforts to raise awareness on the species in the surrounding villages. The Maldhari tribe are a great example of community-initiated conservation. They revere the species and have learned to live in co-existence with the king of the jungle. 4 ECOTRAIL, ECOTRAIL, OCTOBER OCTOBER NOVEMBER NOVEMBER 2020 2020

STRIDES IN SCIENCE

JOKING AROUND In a study published in the British Journal of Developmental Psychology, researchers studied the importance of humour shared between siblings. Humour is a complex skill involving cognitive and social development. It involves an understanding of timing, judging the audience’s mood and emotions and most importantly it requires creativity. Its benefits are numerous, apart from the obvious one of making you laugh, other benefits include relieving stress and anxiety and promoting social bonds. Till now there has been little study done on humour focusing on the relationship between siblings. Researchers discovered that certain types of humour are shared between siblings at certain ages. The most common one was spontaneous humour that showed and conveyed shared experiences between the siblings. It was also found that by the age of seven

children indulge in word based humour, usually related to taboo topics such as bathroom humour. Another type of humour observed was funny sounds, weird voices and rude sounds. During playtime, clowning around and the use of their body as a form of expression to make the other laugh was quite common. This included making funny faces, silly poses and dancing. The study also found that the type of humour varied with the age gap between the siblings. There is still a lot more research that needs to be done in this field that could shed light on the importance of humour in child development and their psychological well being. If we can identify the subtle differences in the kinds of humour between siblings, we can further understand the role of humour in a child’s social relationships.

THE COOLEST HUMMINGBIRD OF THE ANDES In the highlands of the Peruvian Andes spot the jewels of the avian world. Known for their diversity of Hummingbirds, these tropical forests support a variety of nectar bearing flowers.

Hummingbirds get their name from the sound that is produced from their wings. With the highest record of wing flapping of almost 70 beats per second, hummingbirds have developed the ability to hover over flowers. These small sized birds need to consume close to half their body weight daily, which means they feed every 10 to 15 minutes during the day! The forests of the Peruvian highlands though a rainforest tend to get extremely cold at night with temperatures reaching below freezing. In this climate, researchers came across a species of hummingbird that resorts to extreme torpor (a state of inactivity) to survive the cold.

The Black Metaltail hummingbird slows its body functions and suspends all movements to such an extent that its body cools down to 3.26°C. Blair Wolf from the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque says ‘This is the lowest body temperature recorded in a bird or non hibernating animal.’ Wolf and his team observed 26 individuals during the night and recorded their body temperatures as part of their study. They learnt that this adaptation allows them to save almost 95% of their energy, allowing them to adapt and flourish at such a high altitude. With the first rays of the sun, the birds begin to thaw and rev up their bodies, just like an engine, by quivering, before setting off on their daily foraging routine.

The Black Metaltail Hummingbird www.trailblazersindia.com www.trailblazersindia.com


EDUCATOR'S COLUMN

how do YOUR CHILDren grow?

Ms. Alka Deshpande a professional in the field of Early Childhood Education shares her views on parenting.

One muggy afternoon when, by all reasonable logic, we should have been dozing through our lecture, Bob, our facilitator, came up with this quote: “We don’t see things as they are; we see them as we are.” As he proceeded to explain this perplexing statement, I was experiencing what can only be described as a ‘eureka’ moment. That is it…clarity! So simple and yet so profound. As a parent and an educator, it felt like a whole barrowful of TETRIS bricks had suddenly fallen perfectly in place, in the smoothest possible way. If one were to carefully consider the above quote and ruminate over it, one would see that it makes complete sense. And why, while being the same, we are also different. All humans are a product of unique and individual influences, be it parenting, education, geographical locations, ethnicity, or a whole busload of other exposures, they have experienced all through their lives. Whether children are born and raised in the same family, even twins, we find each individual grows up with his or her own distinct personality, thought process and ideology. Of course, there may be some common influences of society or community, but what makes us all unique is the way in which each of us has processed and internalized our experiences. For example: when I was growing up in the 60s and 70s, it was not uncommon for children to get a good ‘pasting’ from their parents, from time to time, as a part of the disciplining routine. ‘Spare the rod and spoil the child’. While spanking did manage to cower most children into submission, it also had a counter effect - sparking defiance. Fifty years later, we now have enough research and evidence to know that spanking, as a disciplining technique, is a definite no-no, and parents and teachers can be called to book for subjecting their wards to it. One of the strongest and most positive influences in my growing years was my Father. He was a person of quiet strength, like river water flowing over pebbles. He mentored us in his calm, gentle manner, introducing us to the wonder of myriad experiences and explorations, while making it seem perfectly routine and matter of fact. The enormity of what he had managed began to dawn on us (my sister and I) much later in life. When I had children, I watched and imbibed from him once again, the art of engaging children and allowing their innocent dreams and imaginations to take wing and soar unfettered in the sky. From him, I learnt that one of the best things we can do for our children is to accept them as individuals. They may be our cuddly, squishy, huggable little bundles of joy to begin with, but, trust me; they are going to grow out of that pretty soon. They come with their own future, destiny and path they have to walk. It’s up to us to accept this and help and assist them to equip themselves to walk that path. Khalil Gibran has conveyed this essence of parenting most eloquently in his poem ‘On Children’ from the collection 'The Prophet' “Your children are not your children. They are the sons and daughters of Life’s longing for itself. They come through you but not from you. And though they are with you they belong not to you.”

www.trailblazersindia.com www.trailblazersindia.com

To nurture the young we need to have infinite patience and understanding: To not be judgmental, but be open, to listen, to humour and partake of childhood dreams, to understand the baffling and make sense of their wonderful nonsense…or not. Nonsense and absurdity can be truly refreshing. To empathize with their unschooled emotions that are mercurial and intense at the same time. To tell the same silly story a zillion times with equal enthusiasm and gusto. Look around you in wonder - there are a million things happening around us each day. Take time to be a quiet observer of the world humming around us. Engage in creative activities… and this does not necessarily mean ‘art and craft’ projects. Find something to create using your imagination, skills and available resources. Be sure to create, not instruct…gaffes or boo-boos are instrumental to creative thinking. It could be something as simple as making a jam sandwich, to learning the right way to tuck in a bed sheet, potting a plant, washing a vehicle, making a house of cards. The possibilities are endless, the process gives unlimited scope for planning, scrapping, remaking and, of course, jugaad!! My absolute favourite, though, I have to confess is what I call ‘nothing time’. Growing up in the pre-screen (no TV, tablets, cell phones, computers) we had a LOT of this, particularly in the long months of summer vacations. Boredom and having nothing to do, I find, is the greatest motivator for creative thinking. There are no rules, no compulsions, no goals and no end result to be achieved. Look back and reflect on all the innovative games, outrageous faradiddles, messy/ disastrous kitchen adventures and fun stuff that came out of the idle mind and devil’s workshop! We live in a world where we are encouraged to believe that Value education, personality development, ethical instruction and environmental consciousness- are attributes that can be imparted through instruction like classical dance or music. Nothing could be further from the truth. Developing respect, empathy, kindness, fairness, tolerance, loyalty, perseverance, determination, a sense of right and wrong and also grey areas between the two, a sense of fun and humour; happens as we live our lives with conviction and consciousness, day in and day out. W. Chan Kim, speaking of leadership skills in the parable of the fire and the water says “It is not fire, but water that envelopes all and is the well of life, so it is not the mighty and authoritative ruler, but rulers with humbleness and deep reaching inner strength who capture people’s hearts and are springs of prosperity to their states.” The same could well be said of raising a good human being. 'You are the bows from which your children as living arrows are sent forth. The archer sees the mark upon the path of the infinite, and He bends you with His might that His arrows may go swift and far. Let your bending in the archer’s hand be for gladness; For even as He loves the arrow that flies, So He loves also the bow that is stable.' -Khalil Gibran

ECOTRAIL, ECOTRAIL, OCTOBER OCTOBER NOVEMBER NOVEMBER 2020 2020 5


CAMP STORIES

AchievEment unlocked

Trailblazers conducts a CAS camp amidst the Sahyadris One of the most wholesome camps we conduct are our CAS (Creativity, Activity, Service) Camps. Packed with a variety of activities that spans all three avenues, these are camps where students also experience various emotions. Adventure activities are not everyone’s cup of tea, however after loads of motivation from the Trailblazers Team, children often complete all of them and feel a sense of achievement. Many overcome their fear of heights or water while attempting them. Creative sessions allow for the freedom of expression which can be seen in the stunning artwork created by the students. Finally, service activities help the students experience empathy and glimpse into a world far from their own. Trailblazers conducted a CAS camp for a reputed IB school amid the majestic Sahyadris. Away from the city, this beautiful landscape offered a perfect setting for the students to reflect and take a break from the constant pressure of tests and assignments. Adventure activities ensured that the adrenaline levels were high and added some thrill to the camp. It was also a time for some of the students to shed all their inhibitions and conquer their fears. Their accomplishment could be seen on their faces as their expression of anxiety turned into brimming smiles and nervous laughter once they were done with the activity. Trailblazers conducted several team activities that helped the group collaborate and work well together. We also introduced them to a few outdoor hacks and tips related to camping which helped them appreciate the outdoors with a newfound respect. Students took part in a conservation activity and interacted with expert Ecologists to do their bit for the environment. Working closely in nature and with the soil, helped them reconnect with the land. During their reflections all of them recounted how they felt an overwhelming sense of satisfaction having taken part in the activity. The Trailblazers team found the students to be receptive, bright, co-operative, warm, encouraging and open to all methods of learning that were presented on the camp. They challenged themselves to take on every task and cooperated with the team towards every activity with enthusiasm and energy.

6

ECOTRAIL, OCTOBER NOVEMBER 2020

www.trailblazersindia.com


CAMP STORIES

camping by the river Tales of kayaking and much more!

Mangroves are extremely essential for the protection of coastlines and curbing destruction by natural disasters such as floods and tsunamis. In these events they are the first line of defense by acting as a barrier to break the force of water. To help students understand the significance of Mangroves, we conducted an adventure and environment camp in the state of Karnataka. Students stayed in a campsite close to the backwaters with a dense forest of mangroves available for them to observe and study. They got an opportunity to interact with a local forest officer who shared with them some valuable information about these unique salt tolerant species. As a part of the conservation activity, the participants together planted over 500 mangroves in the vicinity. Despite the mushy land, and shin level water, where their feet got extremely muddy, the students were thrilled to be a part of such an enriching activity. Being an adventure camp, students experienced the true essence of camping in the wild. They set up their own tents, cooked their own meals and enjoyed living with the bare minimum. Everyone was so satisfied after eating the simple khichdi that they had made, a truly deserved meal after a day of hardwork. The highlight of the camp however, was learning the sport of kayaking. Under the Trailblazers experts' supervision, the group was first trained in water safety and best practices, which was followed by kayaking in a river. Not only did they pick up the sport quickly but they also got a chance to learn about the freshwater ecosystem up close. Kayaking in the river offered them special sightings of waterbirds such as kingfishers and cormorants. Adventure activities, team games and creative sessions together with the excitement of staying with classmates in a completely new environment made this a memorable camp for the students. These are the experiences that they will cherish for the rest of their lives. The camp ensured that the students apart from having a good time also became closer to nature.

www.trailblazersindia.com

ECOTRAIL, ECOTRAIL, OCTOBER OCTOBER NOVEMBER NOVEMBER 2020 2020 7


IN THE SPOTLIGHT

DECODING POP CULTURE

A look into the world of memes, viral videos and other trends Does your child often talk in languages you do not understand? Are memes, gifs, reels words you hear often but cannot comprehend. Welcome to the Gen Z world of pop culture! In this article we introduce to you what pop culture is and its impact on society. The Oxford dictionary defines Pop Culture as, ‘Modern popular culture transmitted via the mass media and aimed particularly at younger people’. Constantly evolving with upcoming generations, it is expressed through forms of art, intellect and culture. With the rapid advance of the internet and social media, pop culture’s influence on our society has never been more prominent than today. Ease of access to global media has also made its reach and impact grow by the day. Essentially it is the content, practices and lifestyles portrayed across media platforms that reflect the tastes and values that are generally accepted by society at a given time. These books, toys, films, music, TV shows, etc. that may not be exceptional works of art, cater to a wider audience and have the power to unite a variety of people by giving them a common topic to converse on. Teenagers and individuals in their 20’s are influenced the most and are some of the biggest consumers. One major reason is that social media has become a part of their daily lives; checking your phone when you wake up has now become a habit for most people. An endearing aspect of pop culture is to bring in humour to everyday routines and struggles. By doing so, it emphasizes the fact that everybody goes through similar ups and downs in life. For example, memes are hilarious captions or statements often put on a background of a widely known cinema reference. These captions can address topics such as the struggles of a student, to funny situations pet owners find themselves in or even parent stereotypes. Talking about its impact on individuals, there are cases when people have taken up a subject or inculcated a habit because their favorite character from a film/show or a book, is an expert of that topic. There was a boom in students taking up European history after watching the show Game of Thrones or a surge of interest in Hockey after the success of Chak de India. We also notice youngsters adopting to different slangs based on the

music that they are listening to or the shows they are watching. Recently creators of content, knowing the power they hold over the youth are also looking at sending powerful social messages through their content. It is not uncommon for people to seek encouragement from their favourite books, movies, shows or music. Let us consider a series such as Harry Potter which represents in good light all the kinds of students you may come across in a class. Hermione Granger is a strong female character that speaks out to all the so called ‘nerds’, a group of students who find a joy in studying. At the same time, it also shows how back benchers such as Fred and George Weasley who are not interested in academics, excel when they follow their passions and pursue something they truly believe in. Closer to home, movies such as Dil Chahta hai, Zindagi na milegi doobara and 3 idiots have touched upon the topics of friendship, camaraderie, and self discovery through travel. Through their powerful stories they have inspired generations of people to take a break from time to time and set out on an adventure. Their songs remain a must have for any road trip playlist. Like everything in life, pop culture if consumed in excess can have negative impacts as well. With OTT (Over the Top) platforms such as Netflix and Amazon Prime making their own content, the occurrence of violence and foul language has increased in TV shows and movies. However, an option is available for parents to control what their child can watch. The best option is to encourage your children to watch quality content and enjoy it along with them. Take the time to understand their world instead of rejecting it. Its okay to sometimes learn from your children, ask them to tell you about the latest viral trends. During the lockdown there was a surge in parents and children together participating in social media challenges. Surprise your moody teenagers by sharing a witty meme and learn to take humour seriously! Laughter is after all the glue that holds the family together. We wish you a pleasant journey into the dank (not damp, it means excellent in urban slang, your first lesson for today) world of pop culture.

Commonly known as Asian parent memes, these make fun of the high expectations Asian parents tend to have of their children especially with regards to academics.

8

ECOTRAIL, OCTOBER NOVEMBER 2020

www.trailblazersindia.com


COUNTRY CHRONICLES

TAKE A PAUSE BEFORE YOU BEGIN

A past Trailblazers camper recounts her experience of taking a Gap Year I have always been a shy and reserved person, so much so that my teachers in school hardly took notice of me. My brother, who is five years older than me, on the other hand was the talk of the town! Teachers loved him, his classmates idolized him and even the non teaching staff at school remembered him when he visited as an ex-student. I was never an exceptional student and I was most definitely not popular but I was comfortable in my small circle of friends, not drawing too much attention. I have an immense love for my brother and would follow his every move. I listened to the same music, loved the same subjects as him (Biology and History) and disliked the same subjects with a passion (Math and Physics). When he moved to the United States after his 12th grade, I thought, that was what I would also do. However, when I reached that stage, I knew that, this was something I was not too keen on. I had always felt that as long as I followed in his footsteps, I would be fine. The realization that I am my own person suddenly dawned on me after I had finished my schooling. Now, I had to navigate this maze of finding out who I was and where my true interests lie. When I informed my parents that I wanted to take a year off before pursuing my higher education, they were surprised and a little concerned. Concerned, because they were not sure how I would fare due to my reticent nature. Being extremely supportive, they encouraged me and helped me plan my Gap Year. Wildlife and the environment had always been a core interest of mine and I knew I wanted to explore this field further. Like any other obscure field, I heard from hundreds of people how there is ‘no scope’ and that I was just wasting a year. Of course, I grew up in a time where the only fields that seemed to have any scope were Engineering and Medicine. I, however, was determined and with the constant support of my parents I pursued. Looking back it was the best decision I took, during my Gap Year I stayed at a research station deep within the forests of the Western Ghats during the middle of the monsoons. During my time there I interacted with leading ecologists, wildlife photographers and learnt the techniques of ecological sampling. The best part was that I got to study and observe so many interesting creatures that I had only heard of! I got used to the Malabar pit vipers casually lounging over the dining area, I enjoyed the company of tree frogs in my bathroom and became a professional leech remover. I had to cut my own firewood to heat my room and dry my clothes, that were constantly damp. There was no network and for the entire three months I did not speak to my family even once! I did send the occasional email on extremely rare days when the WiFi in the main office worked. Being in an unfamiliar environment I was forced to step out of my comfort zone and discover a new side to myself.

This was just the first step, I continued to delve further into the world of wildlife conservation during my Gap Year programme and became familiar with all its aspects. From research to raising awareness and even getting an insight into environmental advocacy. The field work I participated in also lead to my first published scientific paper! When I joined my Master's course I had an added advantage over all my coursemates. I was already experienced in the methods required to conduct a research study and was adept with analysing and interpereting data. The result was that I stood first in my course, a feat that I had never achieved in my entire school life of 14 years. What I learned from my Gap Year was that if you really want to discover the possibilities of a certain field, you need to take the initiative and find it! People will tell you otherwise but the truth is that the earlier you experience the real world the better advantage you have in excelling in your career, no matter which field that may be. Prestigious universities and Employers look at experiences that set you apart from the rest. It is a universal truth now that grades do not define you. Though, when you follow your passion and work in a field that truly excites you, your academic excellence will shine through on its own. Not only did my Gap year help me gain work experience but on a more philosophical level, it helped me better understand myself, my weaknesses and my strengths.

JUST LAUNCHED - TRAILBLAZERS GAP YEAR PROGRAMME - get in touch with us FOR MORE DETAILS! www.trailblazersindia.com

ECOTRAIL, ECOTRAIL, OCTOBER OCTOBER NOVEMBER NOVEMBER 2020 2020

9


COUNTRY CHRONICLES

fixed vs growth mindset Which of these should you develop in your child? Our entire judgement of ourselves and our capabilities are based on two types of mindsets. These govern our attitude, confidence and ability to face challenges in life. Carol Dweck, a researcher from Stanford University has conducted many studies on this topic and in her book Mindset: The New Psychology of Success, shares how changing this one thing can impact your day to day performance in all fields. A fixed mindset is one where an individual believes that there is a limitation to his abilities it could be intelligence, creativity or character. This hinders the person from exploring avenues they feel they are not competent at or even working harder towards a goal. Static in their belief, these individuals are terrified of failure and will not take up a challenge where failure might be likely. Contrastingly a growth mindset is one where people accept that with patience, effort and time, abilities or intelligence can be improved. They are more acceptable towards overcoming obstacles and pushing themselves. Failure is a part of the learning process and is not looked at as a setback. These mindsets develop early on in children and can greatly affect their behaviour. In a research conducted by her, Carol Dweck found that the fixed and growth mindset can form as early as when children are four years of age. As a parent or a significant influence in a child’s life, one needs to make sure we encourage the latter to promote a healthy and positive mind. Therefore, the words we use become paramount in the way we critique or inspire children. A common behavioural trait seen in people with a fixed mindset is the constant need to prove themselves. This can be true of children who have parents that are sparing with compliments and continuously compare them with their peers to push them harder. However, it can have an opposite effect in decreasing the child’s self worth, leaving them with the thought that whatever they do will never be enough. At the same time, this does not mean that you goad your children with adulation and lead them to think that every action of theirs deserves praise. It is more about appreciating true efforts and hard work rather than the result. In another study, she studied the effect of praising ability

10 ECOTRAIL, OCTOBER NOVEMBER 2020

vs effort. Two sets of student were given an easy IQ test to solve. While all of them got the right answers, one group was praised on their ability with the words " Wow! you got all the answers right. You must be smart at this!" the other was told "Wow! You got all of them right! You must have worked really hard." In the next stage of the study both groups were presented with a tough test, where most of the students did not do well. There was a drastic change in the reaction of both groups. The ability praised group got dejected, doubted their intelligence and did not enjoy the learning process. When asked if they would like to know the right answers they were least interested and opted out from taking another test in the future. While the effort praised group just took it as a challenge to work harder and had fun solving the questions. They were eager to know the right answers and were ready to take another test in the future. What Dweck found most upsetting was that when the ability praised group was asked to write a letter to their parents on their experience of taking the tests, around 40% lied about their test scores to retain their images as smart children. This went on to prove that people with a fixed mindset find imperfections shameful. Not only do these mindsets affect learning abilities and work efficiency but also trickles into personal relationships. People with fixed mindsets will prefer to stay around people who compliment them and who they feel superior to. In terms of a partner they tend to seek someone who puts them on a pedestal. Whereas growth mindset people will seek out peers who continue to challenge their views and thoughts. They will look for partners who truthfully point out their flaws and help them grow. It seems quite clear then, which mindset is better for the overall development of person. If you have identified that you or your children tend to tilt more towards the fixed mindset, is it possible to change to a growth mindset? Yes it is! Awareness, is the first step, now that you know you can make the necessary changes. Start with small achievable goals that can be achieved consistently. Pay more attention to the process rather than the product. Do not associate failure with the end of the world, this is the biggest mistake we make.

www.trailblazersindia.com


TRAILBLAZERS RECCOMMENDS

why is outdoor playtime important for your children?

Here is a list of some fun outdoor activities you can try out with your children. 1. Have an old style picnic: Pack those mats, pick up your hats and sun protection and set off to a nearby garden (or your own if you have one) and have a picnic. Involve your children in preparing the picnic basket with snacks, beverages and games that you can play. Create that exciting atmosphere and have some one on one time with your children. 2. Grow a vegetable garden: This can also be done at home. Inculcate a love for growing things in your children by introducing them to the fascinating world of plants. Show them how to take care of them and observe the different stages from seed to fruit. You can also use your garden ingredients to whip up something yummy with your children. 3. Go stargazing: Though it might be difficult to spot a sky full of stars, you can still teach the basics of astronomy. Plan a night on the terrace and teach your children the concept of constellations and planets with the help of star gazing apps. Having a telescope for this activity would be an added advantage! 4. Climb a tree: Children growing up in the city often miss out on this extremely fun way to connect with nature. Find your nearest climbable tree and revisit your childhood memories as a parent! 5. Play traditional games: Get your whole family together and spend an evening playing traditional Indian games like Kabbadi, Lagori, Kho kho and Langdi. You are guaranteed to have a whole lot of cheating and loads of fun! 6. Go birdwatching: Visit the nearest water reservoir and see how many different kinds of birds you can spot. Make a little diary where you can together note down observations. This will help in getting your children to appreciate wildlife. 7. Volunteer with a local NGO: This could be an NGO of your choice. Get involved in some meaningful community work and introduce your children to a world different from theirs. Teach them empathy and consideration towards people, animals and the planet. Take part in a clean up, feed the strays or spend time with orphans. 8. Have a costume party: As adults we tend to care too much about what other people think of us. Shed you inhibitions and give wings to your child's imagination and creativity by dressing up as fictional characters. 9. Have an outdoor art session: Get inspired by nature and sketch/paint or teach your child photography. Nature has been the inspiration for countless famous artists. Who knows, your child could be the next Monet or Van Gogh! 10. Join us for a Trailblazers camp! We'll do all of the above and much more!

www.trailblazersindia.com

ECOTRAIL, OCTOBER NOVEMBER 2020 11


LOOK FOR US ON Trailblazers.TheOutdoorSchool Trailblazers - The Outdoor School trailblazers.theoutdoorschool www.thetrailblogger15.blogspot.com www.trailblazersfoundation.blogspot.com Trailblazers.TheOutdoorSchool 12 ECOTRAIL, OCTOBER NOVEMBER 2020

Printed, Published and Edited by RANJAN BISWAS on behalf of TRAILBLAZERS ADVENTURE TRAVEL PVT. LTD. Edenwoods, Bay House, Ground Floor A, Gladys Alwares Marg, Off Pokhran Road No. 2, Thane (West) 400 610 Download softcopy from www.trailblazersindia.com Call us to participate in our camps/activities: 022 21739732 or 022 21739737 OR email us on: contact@trailblazersindia.com

www.trailblazersindia.com