Did you offload your baggage to your child? Is it heavy ? 'Comparison Part 2'
Are you carrying a piece of excess baggage and offloading it to your child?
The burden of your unfulfilled dreams, the blame for your failures, the strain of your unmet expectations, and anxiety of your poor self-esteem ...is it fair to put them all on your child and label it - I am an ambitious parent.
The grandeur of your success, the magnificence of your achievements, the loftiness of your fame and glory, the constant praise of your hard work and intellect- Is it fair to assume and expect a similar destiny for him?
You couldn't do it, so you want your child to do it now. Fair or Unfair?
You did it, and so you want your child to do it. Fair/Unfair?
We all have big expectations from our children. Haven't we heard conversations like-
“I couldn’t do much in my life. My circumstances were such. But I want my son to do now.”
“I have earned this success and fame for myself. I want my son to do the same.”
“I couldn’t learn music when I was a child. I wanted to do so many things. I will ensure my son gets everything that he wants and does all that I didn’t get to do.”
“I was fortunate to get opportunities to explore my musical talent, and the rest is history. My hard work paid off. I want to give all kinds of opportunities to my son too. I wish he follows my line.”
How difficult it is to let your child do what he chooses for himself and not what you choose for him?
How will he know what to choose?
Guide not instruct, discipline not repress and direct not control.
“See, son, I know your love for sports. My experience tells me that academics are equally important. While I may like to see you excel in academics and get good grades, I also want you to pursue what interests you the most. It's 'being the best of whatever you can be' that matters. Can we both together work out a way where you can manage academics and sports together? We can talk to your teacher and understand how she can help while you are away for your soccer classes. Also, let's work out a schedule which will help you better manage your time."
These are just a few words spoken at one point in time. Conversation with your child is an everyday affair, and building trust and open communication channels are constant work. That way, the child is more open in listening to you, understanding your perspective because he sees you understanding his.
RESPECT DEVELOPS MUTUALLY, not when you say- "I have seen life more than you. You have no idea about the competition out there. You better get your act together and do well in your studies. I don't understand why you keep running behind that ball?