“Do you listen to your children? I do not mean as in listening when they are talking to you. That of course is important. However , what I implied is do you closely observe the things which your child communicate about their likes their interests and their general and special aptitudes which they convey through their speech, actions or performances ?”
In many parts of the world parents are singularly responsible for providing guidance , suggestion and even compelling their offspring to make certain career choices. Most times children being young and ignorant are not equipped to realize their self- potential or being aware of their own capabilities. This would rather be an effect of a faulty education system as well. By the time one realizes its a bit too late sometimes.
Now a vital question is how influencing without realizing the potential or passion of our kids can affect their future well-being –
They will not enjoy what they are doing
Not feel happy about their work
Do things rather mechanically and lack a basic passion
they have a sense of regret about what they are doing
not doing well at whatever their chosen work is and I am not talking about success only but a sense of satisfaction
Worst of all , they might blame you for all of it.
Well do you need proof? History is replete with people who struggled with academics or other things to realize that they excelled in something else completely. In certain countries or communities parents are busy conforming to the society they live in. Their are certain set standard in their respective society of the so-called successful career options which go on to determine how capable the child is.
Their are so many instances I am aware of when people spent years working hard to acquire a respectable professional degree however eventually ended up pursuing an alternative career in a creative field such as writing or fine arts. People plan their journey, however life takes it own course!
Each human is born with their own innate sense, desires, capabilities and aptitudes, ignoring it and trying to adapt to the ‘ways of the successful’ as decided by the society can surely make one capable of earning loads of money but if it backfires can surely cause a lifetime of stress, unhappiness and depression. Must we not ponder over it in all seriousness? Sometimes pressures within some education systems compel students to prematurely end their lives only because they could not match up to the academic pressure or they realized to their dismay that they were not the answers to their parents expectations. Sadly most of the times its us parents who are busy pulling the strings sometimes to realize it a tad too late.
By doing this do we ever realize how many geniuses we might lose out on. Imagine if Pablo Picasso’s parents had decided that he should be a mathematician or William Shakespeare’s parents had wanted their son to be a scientist. We would not be having the geniuses amidst us. Their was a friend of mine who set out to have a career as a doctor simply because one of her parent was a doctor. However it was much later that she decided that it was not working out and she decided to settle down for the life of a dentist.
As parents what is our role should be the question . Roughly speaking it could be to
our children. We can help our children to realize their aptitudes and we can do a few of this:
DO-allow your child to dabble in several activities that they could possibly do. Paint, build, create, write, ask questions, read, play any games , the idea is to learn about themselves through participation. It could help them realize their passions and what they excel at
EXPLORE-educate them to learn through exploring their environment and enjoying as they learn
FUN WHILE LEARNING-education should be fun and fulfilling and not a mere rote learning. Make education fun!
NO PEDESTALS PLEASE-we can avoid glorifying a few streams of education like the sciences and a few career options like engineering and medical; the society to thrive needs a lot more than those limited professions
NO COMPARING-We should stop comparing our children to others; its like asking the chalk to be like the cheese
BE SUPPORTIVE-provide information however be supportive of their decisions
IMPORTANT TO LOVE WHAT YOU DO-help them realize that nothing succeeds like passion and hard work together ;
DREAM BIG-of course help them learn to earn their livelihood but not compromise on their dreams
BELIEVE-learn to believe in who they are and not try to be something they are not
Here is something which may inspire:
“Here’s to the crazy ones, the misfits, the rebels, the troublemakers, the round pegs in the square holes… the ones who see things differently — they’re not fond of rules… You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify or vilify them, but the only thing you can’t do is ignore them because they change things… they push the human race forward, and while some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius, because the ones who are crazy enough to think that they can change the world, are the ones who do”
1997 Apple TV advert, narrated by Steve Jobs (1955-2011)
I am nowhere trying to imply that our parents do not have our best interests at heart. Their is no one who would know us better, however what truly matters is the role we play in our child’s life. Our children are nowhere our replica. They are separate and unique individuals who have a separate heart mind thoughts and decisions. As parents we can not expect to be with them for the rest of their lives hence we should be empowering and allowing them to live independently and most importantly ‘happily’. The Almighty God has a plan for our little ones which will unfold in its time, surely . Presently my 4 year old daughter wants to be a ‘fairy’ and I am nowhere close to questioning that. Guess I would let her figure that out by herself how she would be one!