A child is the dream of every parent come true- the culmination of his/her desires, the materialization of his/her ambition and the torchbearer of his/her legacy. Every parent inevitably dreams for greatness to be bestowed upon his offspring. These dreams are usually woven around the child’s future- what the child will become, what he/she acquires and how he/she lives. Most often parents tend to perceive their unfulfilled desires as goals for the child.
In this process, have you tried understanding your child’s aspirations?
Gone are the days when children used to blindly toe the line and obey their parents unquestioningly. With technology sweeping every aspect of our daily lives, children are exposed to new concepts, revolutionary ideas and radical thinking. Children have developed the art of questioning every act or event and tend to evolve a thought process of their own. In such a situation, thrusting our ideas on the child or forcing him to give up his aspirations would be the biggest folly a parent could commit.
WHAT ARE YOUR ASPIRATIONS FOR YOUR CHILD?
Every parent paints a vision of what he wants his child to be and this differs from individual to individual. But on the whole, on analyzing this data, we found the predominant parental aspirations to be:
- A happy child
- A healthy child
- An intelligent child
- An all-rounder
- A well-behaved child
- A top performer in academics
Above all this, some parents may aspire for the following from their children
- Social status
- A touch of the genius
- A prominent personality
Whatever the case may be, it is not wrong to aspire for your child but it is more important to put their aspirations first, ahead of yours.
You should not have too many though, so be careful not to choke on your aspirations, parents.
A simple assessment of the academic grades of 3500 middle school students was done along with their parents’ expectations in Bavaria. It was found that when the parents’ expectations are high but realistic, the children’s grades shot up. But the moment the parents started to over-expect from their child, the kid’s grades took a nosedive. This clearly shows that it is not wrong to expect but clearly wrong to over-expect from your child.
Why all this confusion? why not take the simple route of understanding your child’s aspirations? This is how you do it.
1.Have a heart- to-heart chat with your child.
Sit with your child and open up a conversation on the topic of his interest. Slowly bring in the topic of his future, ambition, goal etc. It is important that you merely initiate the conversation. Then LISTEN.
No negative responses.
Do NOT negate, criticize or ridicule the child for whatever he might express even if it might be a shocking revelation for you. For instance, you might have dreamt of your child becoming a scientist, he might want to become a painter.
Accept his choice
Hear the child out fully. Then question him gently if you find his aspiration to be a very different one. You have every right to question but none to be judgemental. Merely accept his decision whatever it may be.
No motivation?- ok- but no demotivation!
Sometimes parents are not able to digest the academic, career or life aspirations of the child. In such cases, if you cannot motivate, be passive- do not demotivate them.
In the process of encouraging your child, don’t exceed yourself in your enthusiasm. Adopt a balanced stance to allow the child to make a realistic judgement about his aspiration.
Celebrate his strengths, identify his weaknesses
Now that you are at the crossroads of making important decisions regarding your child and his aspirations, it is imperative that you examine his strengths and weaknesses objectively. This will help you guide the child in the future in times of need. Most importantly, it will help you to stop him from taking wrong turns in life.
Your child may be a great guitarist but he might fail in algebra. Never mind, try motivating the child in the field of his passion and strength. Your support is the best foundation you can provide.
Do not thrust your ambitions on your child.
You might have wanted to be a great ballerina, don’t nag your child to do a pirouette if she can’t. Allow the child to spread her wings and soar high to find her own destination.
Be supportive always
Children often fail even after choosing their own path. Do not adopt the ” I -told-you-so” attitude. Be a support to fall back on at all times, especially when they fail.
Children are the footprints we leave for the future. Make sure they leave an indelible mark in the world by understanding their aspirations and supporting them always.
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