Back in my early childhood days in the early 80s, I distinctly remember that every other parent (mother and/or father) wanted their kids to either be an Engineer (or) a Doctor. Any other profession/degree such as Sociology (or) Arts was totally ridiculed and was almost a taboo. Even participation in extra-curricular activities such as sports, music always took a back seat compared to academics. I must say that I was certainly lucky in that regard, for my parents never forced anything on me and gave me full freedom and independence to pursue (or not pursue) whatever I wanted
Fast forward the clock to 2007, I have 2 kids now and the trend that I observe with present day parents is this. Not only do they want their kids to excel in academics, they also want their kids (even if they are as young as 3) to learn music, arts, martial arts, dancing. One of the parents that I know even boasted that his kid is learning archery…at age 5…is he kidding??? While it is certainly none of my business to dictate what each parent should do, my views on this topic is pretty clear.
I want my children to first of all enjoy their childhood. I want them to get drenched in the rain without worrying about catching a cold, play hard outside that they are covered in mud. L and I share the vision that we will certainly encourage them to try out new activities that they want to try, but not obsess that they are the Numero Uno in that activity. That is, we will not expect them to be a Picasso if they take up painting…. well you get the idea!!!
L and I want to be there for them for positive encouragement and be a launch pad for them and expose them to wide variety of things in way that it nurtures their natural curiosity as children. I will certainly want to encourage independent thinking, kindness towards fellow human beings and helping the underprivileged. I certainly want them to have a mix of basic academic knowledge, solid analytical thinking and an overall personality development. Again, all of the above are only my thoughts and certainly L and I will make a conscious effort to not to force even the above but merely steer them towards that.
In short, we would be very satisfied at the end of the day if our children are some relatively unknown good human beings rather than really popular and talented jerks!!
Here’s a bumper sticker I’d like to see: “We are the proud parents of a child whose self-esteem is sufficient that he doesn’t need us promoting his minor scholastic achievements on the back of our car.” – George Carlin