Have you said any of these statements recently?
“Wow! I can’t believe he did it!!”
“Oh my God! He NEVER tried doing it all these days…”
“What do I do to get him off this damn new habit?”
Well, let me remind you that the growing years of the child’s life is a mixed bag. The family’s outlook and the parents’ attitude shape the child’s milestones. Whether we term (read ‘judge’) his activity good/bad or right/ wrong, we need to remember the basic fact: “Trial and Error” is equally applicable to your little one. All we need to do is to ensure that he is safe.
Beware: Over protective parents commit dual damage-
· They are themselves the hurdles in the child’s progress.
· They indirectly encourage the child to secretly try his hand at the denied pleasure.
Last week, I met a friend who was upset about her 6 year old son’s new passion: telling lies. I invited her to sit in discussion instead of being emotionally upset about this new development. We traced eight valid points that could push the little one to lie:
Fear of being unaccepted or punished
Over expectation from parents/ teacher
Desire to be the person of his dream or ‘quid pro quo’
The thrill of disobeying/ lying
To rise to a false height
When we analyzed the child’s lies one by one, we were able to fit them all into one of these eight categories. On further discussion, we gradually discovered that every bad habit (in the child’s case) or most of the vices (in the adult’s case) shoot off basically from one of these eight large divisions. The best corrective measure, of course, could vary from one child to another.
“God judges a person by what he does to someone who has nothing to give in return” is a lovely quote. On a different plane, I would say, “Gauge your child by what he does in his favorite moments while he is left unattended.”
If the child springs you pleasant surprises by taking right decisions, please congratulate him and encourage him openly. He will trust you all the more. In fact, he would strive to stick to this ‘righteous path’ as he feels loved, accepted and secure, too. On the other hand, if your absence meant good riddance for him, please don’t get upset or angry. It is time for you to do some homework: Take time to see where things could have gone wrong. The gentle but sure steps that you would undertake could pave a new path for him. But in this case, make sure you are always there for him.
After all, TRUST is the key that opens the doors of opportunity for your growing child.
You are striving to nurture your child’s no-limitness. You don’t wish to leave any stone unturned in order to achieve your goal. Alright. But when will you be able to reach the pinnacle of your efforts and say, “Ah! Now my child is truly no-limit”? Is it
when the school / society acknowledges his brilliance in the field of your / his choice?
when he outshines his peers and goes non-stop on prize-winning sprees?
when every topic that he comes across bears the mark of ‘deja vu’?
the combination of all the above?
If you happened to say “Yes” even once, then I am sorry, I disagree with you. There is a big chunk of ‘Ego’ doing a foul play and misleading you. Confused?
Well, we rate a child as no-limit if he
— is extraordinarily and incomparably confident, expressive and fearless
–far surpasses the curiosity level of children his age,
— possesses unbelievable command over his field of interest because his no-limit characteristics are nurtured fully.
The peoples of the world would nod in agreement with me. But personally, I believe that there is more to it than meets the eye.
Let us analyze 3 cases: Making the child a no-limit in order to
a) prove one’s own mettle indirectly ,
b) fulfill one’s own lost dreams,
c) gain social / familial recognition.
As I said a few paragraphs earlier, in any of these cases, the parent is actually spinning an invisible fence around the child: The process of making the child no-limit itself is purely engineered, artificial and liable to fail. Well, I am not trying to dampen your zest and perseverance. Instead, I am just pressing the ‘Reset’ button- if only you need one.
In case you choose to ignore my warning, you may face one of the following:
The promising child could become an Unwilling Child soon, during his growing years with more distractions and varied company.
As the grasping speed is likely to slow down as he advances in age, he would struggle to meet your high expectations. Psychological disturbances may follow.
The child could still do well in studies, but stands every chance of studying only to reap grades or harvest marks: Ultimately he would – for sure- barter his knowledge for money and limit his potential there.
So what could be the RIGHT WAY to make the child ‘no-limit’? Here is the four word mantra: JUST LET HIM BE. Throwing every door of knowledge and opportunity open and being there for him always are two things that you should be doing. Trust and encouragement in right proportions will take the child to unimaginable heights.
And bring you not just fame, money and respect, but also a lovely bonus: The joy of being his parent/teacher/guide.
Think about it.