PARENTING CHALLENGES If we take a quick glance at the parenting patterns of India through 70’s and 80’s it is almost obvious that the parents in most cases directed the paths of their children on all crucial decisions around studies and career paths. Many a times the children had minimal or no say to express their views about specific interests that they may have and they potentially are passionate about. Also the various realms of education that a child could potentially pursue was dictated by the parents who meant well but gave little rope for any contrarian views.
Admittedly the bright ones had to pursue one among the following choices of education – Medicine, Engineering, Accountancy or Law and most children who didn’t fit into the above scheme of things were rendered as failures. Times have changed and here we are as parents of today who tend to have a very consultative process of identifying the child’s real interests and most times supporting it whole heartedly. Also various new choices of education have come up over time due to successes made by incumbents pursuing those- Fashion, Journalism, Creative fields and Liberal arts etc. whilst the charm of the conventional big 4 fields continues to fascinate parents and children.
I have two kids – daughter who chose to pursue graduation in Film animation and son who wishes to pursue studies in Economics. My job, the way I saw it was to really test as to how keen they are and upon confirmation support them to pursue what they aspire for, without directing. I think good inputs are always received from teachers who coach them and have a very objective view of the student. So for parents who think Parents Teachers Meet (PTM) is not a good investment, please do indulge as it provides great perspectives about your child. I always made it a top priority event that I had to attend and has been very enlightening. Parents often underestimate the influence of the child’s friends in shaping the character of behaviours of your child especially through adolescence. I always took the time to have a chat with my children’s friends’ and indeed is again a very good investment of time.
Many parents do have the tendency to pamper and interfere in the affairs of the kids to such a large extent that it many a times starts to adversely impact the behavioural development of the child. I was never a controlling father giving the children enough space for them to have their own independent views and support them to make decisions independently. I do believe ability to do that does have a positive bearing on their life in general.
This article is authored by Arun Kumar. Arun is father to a 23-year-old daughter and a 17-year-old son, an entrepreneur and owns Innogrow Ventures. In his proud parenting journey he has not missed a single PTM for both kids in spite of his hectic travel schedule.