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It was 12 am there was constant chatter where everybody was trying to say something to everybody when one of my friends with all his might declared to whoever listening that “Our kids are going to change 3 professions before they settle for one. First 10 years of their professional life they would try out new things to find what they would like to do rest of their life, all ye.. stop worrying!”
Now that got everybody’s attention, that’s a novel proposition for their future and a scary one for parents who want to control the destiny.
It was post party discussion at my home where friends got together with kids and the discussion went to parent’s wishes in kid’s education and future, the need of helping with homework and the outdated syllabus of our kids. The competition and the carefree or careful kids..
What do we do?
As parents do we let our kids become part of the rat race that ends in a well skilled profession where they are good and great in profession but their soul craves for more or different.
Do we let our kids explore from childhood and let them figure out from the beginning what they are good at, what they love to do… the direction they wish to take..
But is it so easy to let pick a 8 year what he or she would like to study or not.
Is it easy to let a 14 year old choose other interest he/she like to pursue like singing or football instead(not alongside) of regular college..
We Indians have probably opened up to cricket and now after Olympics for badminton but are we really open for say photography or anthropology as serious choice??
Our parents had a very strong say in our career and education. Most of us went through the drill due to socioeconomic status of our country in our child hood where job was everything.
But do our kids need too.
Can we give them opportunity to try different things and elect what they wish to, even if that means they try uncharted territories, may fail, recover…try again something else…till something click.
Should we allow them to make their mistakes..
As a first ( doesn't happen often) my husband and I agree to this, and that’s our upbringing to our 8 year old.
We do not force her to study or complete homework… If she does that’s good… If she doesn’t that’s ok too.
We do instill respect and values. But when it comes to schooling or formal education, homework, we have made it her responsibility towards herself.
She study what she likes more than other, weather its English or Math, Drawing or Bharatnatyam, it’s HER study.. Her choice and her responsibility.
I have found that any new thing excites her and that’s her favorite for a while but eventually the excitement goes off and so the love for that subject.. Since we let her choose, she is more inclined to do a certain subject as compared to other when the initial fizz goes away..
To my dismay English stories or hand writing doesn’t excite her as Bar Graphs and Chart which she finishes in 10 minutes without help.. It seems she finishes mathematics questions and ask for more in class work.. Science doesn’t excite her either..
While her hand writing is pathetic, her drawing is amazing.. she is most sorted and an angel when she draws for hours together… it makes her happy. Period.
We never comment/correct on her handwriting, eventually she will learn to write better, later than her peers may be… may be she will learn little less about science as compared to her classmates.. So does that matter in long run if she remembers the molecular formula for sulfuric acid?
We see her knowledge growing organically as per her need and likes, with a happy childhood, learning what she likes to learn. There is no rush, no pressure to score or top. Life itself is educating each and every moment. It’s all about pure joy , pure magic that she see in everything..
In today’s digital world is the aim of childhood is to learn and grow up with lot of knowledge? Or Is it to learn – “how to learn?” where the new knowledge base is created and old knowledge itself has become obsolete.
Is the aim of childhood to dissect every wonder in world with practical details or is it to be just ‘the child’ they are and see the world as a child sees with amazement and wonder!
Are we teaching our kids to grow up all the time with more and more knowledge or are we allowing them to enjoy, grow and learn by themselves from their mistakes…
Are we teaching them just the set of wrongs or rights in the world, Or are we teaching them how to differentiate a wrong and right..
Are we allowing them to be just who they are.. they are children and they are living the happiest version of themselves and most memorable moments in their journey of life.
Are we taking that away or letting them to just BE !