India is full of animal and plant diversity. Well I speak of India because I live here and this is the country I have travelled extensively. Every travel has left me richer in experience and knowledge. And has taught me parenting lessons even before I were a parent.
At 2.5 years my daughter could identify over 10 bird species in our locality by sight and sound – including brown headed barbet and golden backed woodpecker amongst others. It’s fascinating to note that some adults can visit a wet rainforest and come back with – “ya we saw only birds”, while a child of 30 months can respect the diversity that visits one tree in her backyard. It makes me wonder if it is because she was taught species names of birds at a young age- that she could see this diversity, or maybe simply because she had the words to name them? Could I extrapolate then to assume that if 5 species of birds went extinct in front of me, I wouldn’t notice because I didn’t even know they existed? Does this mean by naming birds at a young age a child is taking a step towards being more conscious and aware of his surroundings above an average?And what about colours? 3 primary colours, 3 secondary colours, 7 colours of the rainbow- is that all a preschooler should know? Or can I teach her about Prussian blue and ochre and rose pink at preschool level?Will it allow her to “see” the world in a new way, or categorise colours in a manner that is unique to her mind simply because I offered her specific names for shades of colour? Will calling the moon “Chanda mama” or the sun “Suraj chacha” in Hindi as well , create masculine images in her mind? Or will teaching her a conflicting language like French make her think of the moon as a female and how would language then shape her thoughts about the world around her?