Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Children as potential

The recent instances of 2 children committing suicide shockingly at the age of 11 and 13 reinforces the ever increasing pressures that children face today by a societal belief that studies and marks define success and the need for children to grow up through self-discovery no longer exists. This is a trend that is now increasing due to parental beliefs that are skewed.

This extreme behaviour is driven by parents who want to live their dreams through the eyes of their children, and somehow pressurize them into doing what might not be a natural for that child. Parents fail to realize the potential that these children have as in the above case of the 11 year old girl, who was appreciated for her dancing and forcibly stopped from pursuing the dancing lessons that she was taking and instead hassled her to study. The sheer disappointment of not being able to pursue a strength in her for reasons unknown to her led her to believe that she had reached a dead-end and the only way that she could get back at her parents was by killing herself unaware of the consequences of taking the extreme step.

Imagine, if the parents of a Rahul Dravid or a Sachin Tendulkar had forced them to become Doctors, we would have all lost two great cricketers and got two doctors whom we would have been scared to go to!

The key lies in recognizing the potential children have in themselves and nurturing the same. This does not mean that studies take a back seat; it just means giving the child its due recognition and allowing it to blossom in its strength rather than force it to adopt an extreme behaviour unaware of the hidden costs.

The choice is obvious, do we as parents want to live our lives through the eyes of our children and live with the guilt of the penalty? Or do we accept the strengths and the potential available with the child and allow it to blossom?
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