Parenteen: Nudge them to dream
Updated: Feb 1
We began the New Year watching Amir Khan’s magnum opus Dangal and came away misty eyed yet rejuvenated with a sense of hope and purpose. Apart from being an entertaining real-life sports flick, it offered some amazing lessons on parenting, that too through a simple villager of Haryana which is otherwise infamous for its skewed notions on the girl child.
While some enlightened ones on social media grudge Mahavir Singh Phogat for loading his daughters with his dreams, I give it to the man for caring two hoots for the society to get his girls to even dream. For, if not for his nudge, the Phogat girls who are known to have made a mark in Indian wrestling, would have ended up as child brides like their friends.
The movie reminded me of our own adolescent years when Dad, unlike most fathers his age, egged us on to be with our books or participate in debates, elocutions or dance and music competitions instead of honing our skills in the kitchen. At the same time he emphasized on letting go of the little pleasures in life to attain our big goals. In doing so, he taught us to fight our battles on our own.
Every child comes with a profile of strengths. It’s our job as parents to identify and draw attention to them and, most importantly, help them realise their potentials. Most children display their strengths as childhood passions which, if identified and suitably channelized, can turn out to be their calling. A nephew who spent his boyhood drawing every car in his neighbourhood with unique features he imagined went on to study design in Italy. Today, he’s a sought after product designer with a passion to improvise on the mundane.
Helping our children to first dream and then live out their dreams is critical to effective parenting.
We can actually break this job of ours into three effectual steps. The first move involves getting our teens to first clearly imagine in their mind’s eye where and how they want to see themselves in future. This is what the experts term as the power of visualization which acts as a stirrup for realization of goals. “One of the quickest ways to obtain anything you set your heart on is to practice visualization,” says Al Koran, author of the world’s best seller ‘Bring Out the Magic in Your Mind’.
The second step involves showing appreciation not only for the children’s achievements but their efforts too. Praising their persistence or progress even if they need to do much more tends to keep them on the job. The third step involves creating opportunities for them to explore different activities and opportunities so as to give them a broad spectrum of experiences.
Experts suggest asking oneself, am I giving due attention and support to the competence that naturally exists in my teen?
It is proven, teens that possess vision and the steps to achieve their dreams have higher resilience and are more likely to make wise choices in life. So as parents of prospective achievers, it is we who have to ignite that fire in their bellies.