As an only child, 4-year-old Kavindu (pictured above with his mum, Dhammika) had no one to play with at home. He loved to cut, colour and paste paper to make little sculptures, and he pleaded with his mother to join him, but 23-year-old Dhammika had other things to do, so Kavindu played alone. Now and then, Dhammika would spank him for leaving a trail of paper scraps throughout the house, which left him a little scared about this favourite activity.
Then Dhammika began attending some of the ENHANCE project’s trainings about child care. She and other parents learned about children’s brain development, and about the importance of stimulation and of showing love and affection.
Dhammika began to understand that she needed to carve time from her day-to-day work to spend with Kavindu, and that she needed to listen to him more. So she did.
One day, when Kavindu was working with his bits of paper, Dhammika joined him. She spoke to him lovingly, and she helped him when he struggled with his creations. After a little while, Kavindu threw his arms wide and said, “I love you SO much!” Dhammika was overwhelmed.
Now mother and son prepare food together. They work side by side in the garden, and they go to market. “It gives me a chance to teach him about food, colors and numbers at the same time,” says Dhammika. Before, she had been missing these opportunities to support Kavindu’s development. Now they are built into mother’s and son’s day together.
Parents everywhere want to give their children what they need to thrive. When they understand those needs and have the support to meet them, the rewards come quickly and last long. And children get a great start toward achieving their potential.