- Vallish Herur
Our thoughts shape our children
It is everyone's desire to see their child grow up into a successful individual, be able to enjoy material and other comforts, and lead a happy life. As parents, we firmly believe that making sure that our children achieve these is one of our primary non-negotiable responsibilities. We are willing to do anything to make this a reality. Hence, we ensure that we are able to provide the best of resources, facilities and opportunities to our child. We don’t mind sacrificing our needs in order to provide for the child. We willingly invest all our resources for the sake of our child’s future. In a way, we turn parenting, the process of helping our children grow up, into a high stakes game. When the stakes are high, everything has to be correct, and the margin for error is very little. Any mistake we commit could jeopardize the future of our child, is a concern that drives our thoughts and actions. This relentless pressure to provide the best and not commit mistakes is not easy to handle. This forces us to go into details of every aspect of our child’s life. We start managing our child’s life. The pressure of getting everything in place for the future we dream of for our child makes us watch our child with a microscopic eye. Small deviations in behaviour or in the outcome expected of the child’s activity upset us. We start extrapolating small setbacks and deviations to imagine a compromised future - an imagination that is scarier than anything else we can. We start discounting the needs that occur naturally during the formative ages of a child. We start placing higher demands on the child - demands that are tangible and those that assure us that the child is progressing towards the imagined future - those tangibles that disregard the needs, feelings and emotions of the child. Unknowingly, we start making the tender shoulders and minds of our child carry the burden of our self-imposed pressures. The anxiety to be assured of tangible progress of achieving our dream and the desperation to avoid setbacks, however insignificant they may be, make us knowingly place unreasonable demands on our child. We even brazenly justify the need to pressurise our child, without which, we argue that the future is going to be dreary. Our tender child starts getting crushed under the weight of our own expectations and pressures. We weaken the child from within. We rob the simple joy of childhood, our child is entitled to, in our anxiety to making it a successful adult! Parenting, with an unshakable positive view of the future and the one that believes in allowing the natural course of development of a child, is essential. It is the child that is important during childhood, neither an imagined rosy future nor the scary thought of preparing our child to battle a ruthless and an unfair world. We should only care about consciously and consistently providing a nourishing environment that instils positive thoughts, provides opportunities to the child to explore itself and the world fearlessly, on its way to becoming an adult.