Click here for shortcuts to regional language blogs and city-specific events.
I grew up sandwiched between two siblings, both achievers. They did pretty well in school. Well, I paled in comparison. While they studied at the last moment for exams, I had to work real hard in order to clear mine. Both of them went on to become doctors. People couldn't understand why I didn't follow their footsteps. Perhaps it was the sight of their huge text books that put me off. So while they immersed themselves in their chosen careers, here I was perfecting the art of doing nothing. I read whatever I could lay my hands on. I was a voracious reader. They gave exams after exams trying to scare off butterflies in their tummies and I went chasing after butterflies. People asked me why I didn't choose medicine. "Well, someone needs to be a patient too". I replied cheekily. Well, that seemed to shut them off. At least temporarily.
Mom and dad never once pressurised me to get into anything I didn't wish to. They were there to support me in whatever I decided to do with my life. I'm sure their friends would have asked them over and again why I was different. But they never once conveyed their anxieties or fears over my future to me. Boy, am I glad for them! There was no talk about career choices in our home. We just did what came naturally to us. My parents accepted me as I was. I think that was the greatest gift they could give me.They let me be. Just me.
Years rolled by. I got married, had two sons. I decided to be a stay- at-home mom, so that I could be by my kids' side all the time. The best decision I ever made.I remember my younger son participating in a school race one day. He came sixth or seventh. " I lost, Ma", my six year old declared, albeit sadly, but he didn't cry. He knew his loss was accepted. I had let him be.
While other kids went from one hobby class to another, my kids went to none. They did pretty well in school, consistently in the top five but never topped. I hated to be a competitive mom. I let them be.
Both of them now budding engineers, eventually they got inclined to music, they can play the guitar well. Gadgets fascinate them. They spend hours researching them on the net. They do what they love. I think that's what matters.
The best thing you could ever do for your kids is this.
Just let them be.