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Fluent in silence.

We want our kids to succeed. At school. In the music room. On the playing field. On the dance floor. They should be adept in languages. Experts in social niceties. Life-ready already! So we prep them with a pep talk. Bombard them with wise counsel. Prop them with essential coaching. And egg them on to do better than the best. In this compulsory cacophony that parents feel obliged to administer, we overlook an important skill that every child must possess. The ability to accept, even nurture, soundlessness. Silence resonates strongly with the young. The wordless world has endless possibilities. One can dream of being a pilot or a ladybird. Look at a cloud and spot Santa Claus. Stare at the rain outside the window and feel snug inside the blanket. Play with the shadows on the wall. Silence encourages introspection. It allows the child to touch his true self. To draw from the resources within. To mine the reserves of creativity and imagination and quirkiness that make him whole and special. It gives him the freedom to venture into untrodden lands. The pluck to cross uncharted seas. It helps him revisit old wounds to check if they are completely healed. And interpret his own behaviour without being censorious. Children are kinder to themselves when they embrace quietude. A daily designated time, free of all forms of noise, is a bounty that every child deserves. So while we build other competencies in our children, we must also foster fluency in silence. It is, after all, just another language. But without words.

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