Let us let them live their dreams.

June 12, 2007 at 10:04 am | Posted in Parenting | 5 Comments

One of my friend S , has an elder brother B.B is very intelligent and hardworking.He could study all night and continously for days and get into most premier institute of the country. S is four years younger to B and admire B for what he is. But B and her parents expects her to be same.To study day and night without break and get into same college.
S is intelligent but she cannot concentrate and study day and night at a stretch.She scores more than 80 % in all subjects but that is not enough.She is expected to copy B in her style of studying.She is expected to excel in same subjects. Since she always admired B , she tried her level best to immitate him.But she was different and she did not succeed.Today she does not know what does she wants? What are her own dreams ? Her own likes and dislikes ? Now that she did not succeed in what B did , what does she do now ? At 21 , she had no answer to this, no clue at all.

I wanted to be a doctor since childhood.It was my most cherished dream.But I could not. Should this mean that I would want my daughter to persue the same dream ? My daugher , who has not yet budded.My husband too wanted to be doctor , so should he wish the same for the 10 months old Aryan ? Or suppose , Aryan grows up , to be intelligent , gets education in some IIT or any premier institution of his times and gets a dream job.So should I expect my second chid to replicate him ?

Why do we force our unfulfilled dreams to our kids ? Why do we want our kids to replicate the success of their siblings or cousins ? Lets put ourselves in their shoes. Imagine you are expected to score a 98 in mathamatics when you really hate it.Imagine you are expected to qualify IAS when you wish to persue career in journalism.And all this is not because your parents think that this is good for you but because your elder brother did so and if he could then why can’t you.

We as parents , fail to understand that each individual is different.We have a different set of dreams and different set of capabilities.As we could never be like our parents and our brothers in so many things , our kids can also be not like us and their siblings.And this is their birth right and not a crime.So many times we overshadow the personlaity of younger child by the elder’s, so much that the younger one can never realize what his /her own dreams , capabilites and interests are.This is a crime.

Parents should help kids understand their capabalites and persue their interests. We can tell them good and bad.We can also shape up their dreams. But we should not want them to live our dreams.Let their lives be theirs.



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  1. This is a very old topic of debate between parents and their children. And I’ve varied views on this topic – both as a child and as a parent.

    First of first, I am never pro for extremists of any nature. So I will not agree with a too stringent parent ensuring their child does only what they want. I would also not agree with the all so casual kind of parents who totally let loose their children in picking up whatever they want in life.

    I’ve always believed in the middle path. You may say it’s the easiest. But if it gives results – good results for that matter, why not choose it.

    Being more specific about the topic in hand, parents do play an important role in molding the lives of their children. The story of your friend ‘S’ will fit into my “extremist” category. And I’m totally against those kinds of people.

    However, sometimes a bit of coaxing and comparing with others does help in imbibing enthusiasm in the children. But this should be restricted to the extent that it doesn’t start demoralising the child.

    There are lots of things we do because our parents asked us to do so. That time we surely are against them coaxing us and just do it without our hearts in it but later when we reap results we realise if they hadn’t pushed us into it we probably wouldn’t have achieved what we had.

    Some of the famous celebrity artists like Zakhir Hussain, Pandit Shiv Kumar Sharma, Bismillah Khan etc wouldn’t have been what they were hadn’t their parents pushed them into it. But again, these few examples cannot be used to say that this style of parenting is appropriate.

    My point is how does one decide the perfect balance between pushing and not pushing your child into certain things. The balance point may vary from perception to perception.

    I myself don’t know how I would come out as a parent in this respect.

  2. Zakhir Hussain, Pandit Shiv Kumar Sharma, Bismillah Khan etc could not have been what they are without their parents pushing them and without their own wishes , interest and enthusiasm. Their parents could have taught them the skill , but they could have never made them excel in that without their own interests.

    Parents definitely have to show their kids the road , but should not force them to walk on that against their wishes.We should definitely be balanced and try to recognize what our baby is good at before deciding for them on our own.

  3. They all had been into learning thier art forms when they were too yougn to know what there interests were. If I remember correctly, in one of the itnerviews of Zakhir Hussain he had said his father started to teach him when he was just 3 yrs young. And that they used to get severe punishments if they got late in getting up or didn’t pay attention

    But again as I said, these are just very few examples and probably will fail miserably if anyone tries to imitate them.

  4. A very thought provoking post.

    God grant that we be good parents to our children – giving the sapling support to grow, but not pulling the tender shoot and leaves, in the direction we want…

  5. Amen ..JLT

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