“Raghav is in class 10th now, he isn’t even thinking about what does he want to do in life. Its time he would have to now choose which stream to take next year.”
“Just can’t understand kids these days don’t have any commitment. One day they say they would do CA, next day it would be BCA.”
“Which is the best stream she should opt for? Which profession has more scope these days?”
Suddenly when we see our children in the nearing age 15 yrs or class 10th, our level of anxieties suddenly spurge. Now is the time to choose, this will decide the future, it’s crucial / super critical. Which stream to choose, which college, what company is he/she keeping?
Most parents find themselves at wits end during this time. Our intention is to support the child and ensure that they get the best and make the best for their life. But somehow whatever we do during this period seems to land on either deaf ears or land very differently for them. They just don’t seem to understand.
Are they confused themselves? The answer is YES. Are they in an impressionable age? The answer is YES. One day they see a successful CA they want to be one, the next day a friends dad says “setup your own business” they come back excited about that! Its Event management, fashion designing, interiors… and the list goes on
So let’s see what goes missing – what can we do to make this happen in reality.
As a parent you would fall in any of the following broad categories
· Concerned and wanting to support them
· Anxious but blaming them for not doing anything about it
· Unconcerned – ‘ho hi jayega’
You may be in any category, it’s critical to realize that
· This is a tumultuous time for your child; he/she needs you at this time more than any of the times. So participate, make this a priority for yourself.
· It’s critical to realize that times have not just changed, they have no semblance of the past, it’s not a version of the past it’s a new world altogether. The thousands of options; the millions of bytes of information and exposure it’s a different world out there.
What we don’t realize that our ways of dealing with the changed reality has not changed. We still live in the world of “our childhood”, the safety, security and morality of ‘our times’.
“Problems cannot be solved by the same level of thinking that created them.”- Albert Einstein 1921
The need is to be a partner with them. Contribution would begin with us upgrading ourselves. Knowing about the various options available, knowing our child’s aptitude, interest and passion. We spending time and upgrading ourselves creates a great space at home that we are not just interested but also wanting to contribute, walk that last mile with them.
The key is let’s ‘participate’
· Participate in the thinking with them
· Participate in discussions with them
· Participate in knowing their world
· Participate in knowing their anxieties
· Participate in knowing their questions
· Participate in exploring the various options with them
· Participate in research
· And above all participate to gain ourselves.
Mostly teenagers complain – “dad / mom! You don’t know” and that hurts. Let’s go beyond the hurt and start to know. Remember our times were easier not too many options to choose from so everything got decided automatically. 80% + go to science, 60% + commerce and the rest Humanities. Exceptions were there but those were exceptions.
The process of choosing of a career (or a stream) has to start with a dream. Not the dream which you have when you sleep but the dream which does not let you sleep.
1. Have a dream session with your children; look for that spark in the eyes. This may take hours, days or even weeks. Every discovery, every invention, every innovation in the world started with a dream.
“No one is lazy – the people you see as lazy haven’t discovered what are they made for”
2. The spark needs to be followed up by a plan. What, where, how?
· Where do you want to be?
· How do you get there? – college, requirements, how to fulfill on them, time required, effort required, resources required
· And then an action plan – starting from the end date and the end state working backwards till today!
3. Periodic review and course correction if required.
Bottom line – learning is the world we locked a few years ago! The key is saying to yourself ‘I don’t know let me find out’ this would open up all doors – Door to understanding your children, the door to understanding the environment, the requirements etc.