Fast forwarding a child’s life…

I had once read an article where the term “helicopter parents” had gained my attention. The writer had explained saying that there are certain parents who hover over their kids like helicopters.

Last year when I was trying to seek admission for my kids at a prestigious school, I saw some parents hovering over their kids with a tensed look in their eyes. The school was taking a written test for students seeking admission. I could understand that parents would be tensed as they were trying for admissions at a good school.

But pressurizing the kids for the test and expecting them to outperform many other kids was putting too much pressure unnecessarily. I was happy to see some other parents who were quite casual like me and not standing with worried looks on their face. Kids need to know the importance of an exam but must we try to prepare them for the exam till the last minute and put endless pressure on their innocent minds.

Parents must not expect too much from their children. Some want their kids to do all that they couldn’t do in their younger days. The reality shows where kids are seen dancing and singing and performing always saddens me. I have heard people say “in our days we never had the opportunity to show off our talents. Now look at the children of this generation, they have so many options”. I would not agree with such comments at all. The children on the show are under so much pressure and it is the parents who are pressurizing them to win. Small naive children who could be playing with other kids and having a jolly time are sweating it away at the shows working hard for small time fame. Children could succumb to such pressure trying to fulfill high expectations from their family and school.

They need to be educated and trained to seek a place in this fast paced world. Each child is special and has some specific trait which just needs to be explored with time and developed. Are we as parents digressing from our responsibilities? Are we guiding our children towards a dark future devoid of confidence and self worth?

The capacity and special aptitude of a child will surface with time. Trying to push children towards a particular direction too early in life could break their confidence and their ability to achieve something in life. I do not mean that we need to turn our backs on the talent of a child. I just mean that we must avoid putting unnecessary pressure and burden on a child’s tiny shoulder especially to earn fame and or money.

Given time kids show their hidden traits and we as parents need to help them develop it without pressurizing or forcing too much. They just need a slight push and that is all we need to give. Soon they will grow up and take decisions and we elders must be there for them to support and help them in every possible way.

Each time I meet a parent advertising his or her child’s qualities and future plans for the child, I feel sad for the child. Choice of further education, career etc must be left on the child based on his/her interests and not be dominated or dictated by the parents. Parents must be there to guide children and not to force their ideas upon them. Surely such parents have the best intentions of their child and want fame and acknowledgment of their child’s talent (at times too early in life).

How far will all this go? Will children lose their innocence too early in life? I personally love kids behaving their age and wonder why a kid has to behave like a responsible adult? We as adults at times behave like kids and have fun. So why take that fun and frolic from the child’s life?

If the child is capable, he will outshine and reach his goals one day, when the time is right. A slight push and a word of support are all that children need. Let us not fast forward the life of a child and take away his innocence and childhood.

Though the world is moving ahead at a fast pace, we need to give our children some space to grow and tone down our pace to match with their steps and eventually they will catch up and move on…….

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