Tell us, do you know how a child’s mind functions? Their non stop questions and ideas are nothing short of wild, imaginative and sometimes downright strange.
Unlike adults, a child’s mind does not function according to a chronological checklist put inside constrained boxes. It is free from the fear of rigid rules.
Children, very innocently , ask questions ranging from “Why does our hair grow?” to “What did it feel like on your last day of being a child?” These questions could appear silly but they are ,in fact, layered with depth and emotions.
From Kutuki’s story ‘I have a question for you’
At Kutuki, we try to stay conscious of their intelligence and never indulge in baby talk with them. As storytellers and songwriters, the tone and treatment of our writing may be simple and easy but the complexity of the topic is something that even their adult parents can relate to. A thought is a thought and it can be expressed in very complicated words and plot twists or in a very simple way in a children’s story — but it’s important that the essence of the thought is never lost or ‘dumbed down’.
We do not look at children as infants and mollycoddle them. In fact, drawing from personal experiences, as a child you tend to be more open to family members who are not over protective and who speak to us as equals. This removes the pressure or fear to impress them. We trust to speak our mind and that gets carried forward to adulthood.
Image from Kutuki’s story ‘Zuberi and El’
Trust is hard to build between two people that don’t hold equal power. We like to write stories that allow children to understand different relationships with different characters from varied backgrounds. And build stories and plots that allow them to make their own interpretations of those relationships and emotions. You will be surprised at what children come up with on their own. We like to avoid forcing a conclusion down their throat with a ‘Moral of the story’ at the end.
A child becomes what she/he reads, thinks, eats, wears, dreams, speaks, whispers and most importantly feels. When he/she is allowed to express it in their own way, they know their voice is heard and that they are valued without us oversimplifying things for them.