This famous advice from the movie 3 Idiots was one of the most impactful lines from this Bollywood blockbuster! The movie spoke as much about “good parenting” as it did about the education system in our country.
It is a competitive world, and most parents seem to focus on how to raise academically bright, successful child, rather than raising an all-rounder. What they usually fail to understand is that happy, confident kids with little guidance, will automatically, naturally excel at academics, to the best of their abilities. But a well rounded kid will not only succeed in academics but also reach various non-academic milestones, master a few life-skills, tap their innate talents along the way!!
Constant Pressure On Kids
Kids are human, not tires! They do not need the pressure to be applied to make them work! Human brain works at its peak capacity when the person is calm and composed. It is a well-known fact that under stress, under duress our ability to “think” rapidly diminishes. How do we forget this when it comes to dealing with our own kids? What logic, which science tells us that putting constant pressure on the kids will get them to perform optimally?
Poor kids have to anyway deal with peer-pressure, there is no running away from it. On top of it parental expectations add further burden on those delicate minds. Do we realise what a grave blunder we commit in our roles as parents? So the first and foremost step I urge all the parents to take is, “Let them be… give them space”. Be there with them, for them but do not lead them. It is their life! Allow them to explore it in their own way, at their own pace…
As six year olds, eight year olds, let them make mistakes, let them make a few wrong choices in those early growing years. It’ll teach them that there will always be a repercussion of making a wrong choice. At that age, the decisions they have to make are small, hence repercussions too are minor. But it’ll prepare them well for their adolescent years. The age when they really need to be ready and take a bit more important calls, make better choices, wiser choices. Of course at that age too, they may make mistakes. It is only natural. That’s when it is important for you to be walking by their side, guiding them on their successes, counselling them when needed, holding them if and when they fail.
A teenager needs someone to turn to, someone she/he can trust completely. Someone who shall not judge them but be there for them every time. Be that person in their life. It is not easy to play that role. You will need to learn to put your parental instincts on the back-burner. With patience and practice, you shall learn it. But unfortunately, most parents, instead of being the first person their kids can turn to, end-up being last in the queue during this phase of their kids’ lives.
Another thing that parents need to realize is that rewards are more important than results. When a kid is learning how to walk or talk, even a small gesture such as a clap or a giggle encourages them to do it again and again. Then why stop this wonderful practice when they start growing? When you reward and praise your kid’s efforts, she/he will be forever confident that no matter what, she/he will always have one admirer, one fan who is happy at their smallest successes!
The long & short of it…
Success is not only linked to intelligence or brainpower. When a kid is capable of working hard to achieve her/his goals, dabble in different activities, rises strongly after failure, and is empathetic towards everyone, congratulations! You have succeeded in raising an all rounded child – your very own Rancho!!