by Aarti Kapur Singh
‘The best way to make your dreams come true is to wake up and work’. Here are some things to keep in mind in order to empower your child for a better future
We never know the love of a parent till we become parents ourselves. Not only is it an amazing feeling, it is also a huge responsibility. Parents are responsible for not only enabling their children for life and the world, but also for raising them in a way that they fulfill their dreams while having a secure future.
When the parents of today were kids themselves, times were different. There were limited options and lucrative careers could be literally counted on fingertips. Today, thanks to increased awareness and also means available, it is possible to explore new routes in the parenting journey. Times are favorable in the exploration, identification, and pursuit of varied options depending on a child’s interest, ability, and resources. The interaction between parents and children plays a huge role in the realization of dreams. Parents have the responsibility to explore options, identify and pursue the best available options to aid and nurture their child’s dream for a safe, sound and accomplished future; involving and educating their ward about the secure routes and options for their future journey.
Here are some things to keep in mind as you be the wind beneath your child’s wings and help him or she achieves a brighter and better future.
1. Introduce the child to the theory of ‘Big Dreamers’:
Kids today are seemingly growing up too fast, making it more essential than ever, to consider the importance of nurturing their dreams at an early age. Parents must encourage their child to dream big and not to be deterred by anything. Parents must foster a rich environment to enable their child to become a big dreamer. While all kids look up to their parents to be their role models, inspiring stories of people go a long way. This will enable the child to dream fearlessly, and also carry his free spirit and youthful passion into adulthood.
2. Encourage the child to pursue her big dream:
No dream is too big, no idea too small. What is significant is that the child has the strength and imagination to see beyond her years. No matter how unrealistic or difficult the dreams of the child might seem to be, parents must try everything possible to keep their passion and their dream alive. They should never discourage the child, and should instead come up with new, quirky ways to make the child’s big dream more interesting. Parents should encourage their child dream big and not just settle for the ordinary. It is good to be a black sheep – in fact, it is the only way to escape the drudgery of the rat race. Do not ever pressurize children to become a doctor, engineer, etc. This overbearing attitude on the part of parents creates undue and cruel pressure on the children and kills any individuality and unique talent that the child may have. Instead, nurture what is nascent.
3. Take charge of the child’s holistic development:
Think of what would have happened if Sachin Tendulkar’s father ignored the way his two-year-old son held the bat; or if Lata Mangeshkar’s parents had overlooked her prodigal talent? It is the responsibility of every parent to observe their children – what are they good at, what do they have an innate affinity for? This will not only unveil their child’s hidden talents and aptitude but also help parents discover various personality traits. Such observations will help the parents understand their child better, thereby making them better guides towards their child’s development. Encourage them to have hobbies or creative pursuits that will help isolate their abilities. One child may be really good at tinkering with her mechanical tools, the other one may really enjoy cooking, while another may be a budding cartoonist or artist if he likes to doodle. Once you do notice an extra ability or even affinity in the child to do something, there is no harm in taking professional help to hone the skill. A word of caution though: please do not overburden your child with multiple classes or coaching. Focus on one passion or area of interest and try and develop that.
4. Use online talent detecting tools:
The best bit of living in a techno-driven world is that we have scientific research and tools to help us with a better quality of life. All parents want to raise children who are passionate about their dreams, are kind, creative and individuals who never give up. But, to identify these nuances correctly in their child can sometimes be tricky. Structured aptitude assessments that include expert guidance and can be used to understand the cognitive skills and capabilities of their kids are a good way to overcome these challenges. There are several science-based models (RAISEC model is very popular) that help in identifying the child’s unique traits. Such assessment programs provided by trusted insurers like Aviva Life Insurance enable parents to partner with their child’s aspirations and give them more strong and evidence-based results to measure the traits of their children.
5. Plan to make it possible:
There is a saying – ‘the best way to make your dreams come true is to wake up and work’. Only 13% of millennial parents place savings for higher studies as one of their top child-related financial priorities. Since they do not keep enough savings and a vast majority is underinsured, it is critical that they start planning for financial goals and invest the required amount as early as possible to help their child achieve their dreams later in life.
Therefore, creating the right environment for your child and giving them space to express themselves with the freedom of choice, trumps all planning. Every child has an innate aptitude – they are special in this sense. And to be able to identify this inherent aptitude and talent is every parent’s responsibility. Timing is key. Because as a parent, we should be able to nurture the special skill of our child. Who knows, this inherent aptitude, if nurtured properly and adequately, could actually become your child’s profession – that they not just are in to earn money, but one that gives them joy for the rest of their lives. That way, work will no longer be drudgery. They will enjoy what they do and look forward to it – as well as be equipped to handle challenges with a gung-ho attitude.
As parents, we must all let our child dream big and be their support when they need it. This is the biggest and best education, legacy, inheritance that they can ever have.
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