Have you guys watched the movie Three Idiots? Ok, who I am kidding? Of course you have watched the movie and even read the book it’s based on! Who has not adored Rancho and his innovative ideas? My favourite scene from the movie is when Farhan’s father hovered above his cradle as soon as he was born and declared, “Mera beta engineer banega! (My son will be an engineer!)” I mean, seriously dude…your son’s umbilical stump is still raw and you are deciding his career? But to be honest, this is the reality in India. We are often forced to choose the career path our parents want for us and when we become parents, the cycle of life is repeated.
My son was gifted a bicycle by his grandmother on his last birthday. As expected, he was euphoric to see this magnificent gift that was one of the highlights of his two years. His eyes sparkled and he rushed to try it. Naturally, the bicycle was not a small replica of a car that he was used to and till now, he is not able to master it. He pushes it like a cart and has not been able to ride it. It was decided that nobody will push him to ride it when he is not ready. We let him experiment with it on his own. He failed miserably for the first few weeks but gradually learnt that it is a thing that only he can do and nobody’s there to do it on his behalf.
Children are used to parents doing things for them and when my son was not able to push us to ride it on his behalf, he threw tantrums. It was his first life lesson that he will not get things even if he throws tantrums and he has to do things on his own. He has understood that only he has to ride his bicycle and we are there to help him only, not to ride it on his behalf.
The gesture may seem a small one but I have resolved before his birth that nobody will hover above his cradle like Mr. Qureshi to decide his future for him. As a parent, we will help him do things, including taking a decision. But we won’t decide for him. Nobody will push him to grow up under pressure of following some pre-chosen career path. No doubt we will show him the path but it will be purely his decision to choose what he wants.
In this age of helicopter parenting, where parents are constantly looming over their children’s shoulder, the rate of teenage suicides is growing day by day. And most of the time, the reason is constant pressure by parents to achieve some impossible rank or good marks. OK, no doubt you have expectations from your child but they are not you. Do not try to live your life through them. They are individuals and they have their own life to create. Stop forcing your dreams on them. Let them dream. Let them pursue it. Let them breathe.
I am with my child on this. I am letting my child dream, experiment, fail and then rise. Are you?
Puspanjalee is a blogger and book editor who juggles continously between her job and her two year old human offspring. Whenever she gets time, she loves to talk about babies & parenting, time management for working moms, photography and books. She muses regularly onwww.mywritingmyworld.com