January 01, 2018

What do you want to become when you grow up?

What do you want to be when you grow up?

We would have heard this questions at least ten times in our childhood and now worried about the same in the case of our children. Is it right?

What do you want to become?
I do not make any sense of this question. What do I want to become? I am already one!!! I am already a human with certain goals in my mind, body and soul. I do not become something just after growing up like 20 years later in time. I evolve everyday. I become a better person everyday. I aim to be more mindful of my life everyday. So, there is nothing that I suddenly want to become after 20 years of my life.

That is my honest reply(as a kid) to the question.

OK. Let's get back to our children.

So, what do you want your child to be? Do you already have role models who you wish your child must be following and become one like? Do you already worry about how your 5 year old does not show as much interest in maths as you expect her to and worry that she may be shamed in school leading to not taking up Maths in her college? And many more in the list.

What do we want our child to be?

Isn't your child already something? Isn't she already creative? Isn't she already sportive? Isn't she already talented? Aren't newborns already self-learners? Aren't babies already self-motivated? Who destroyed the natural evolution and learning process of a child? Isn't it the environment that one grows up in? Starting from mandating the child to colour the sky and water with only blue colour, leaf with only green and the fruits with only the generally seen colours, everything that causes an interruption in a child's natural learning process becomes the cause for even the decline in the child's natural interest in doing something. The sky is never blue ALL the time. It shows up in different colours, if the same child who was mandated to colour sky blue on paper was shown the real sky at various times of the day would have been a better natural learner. It satisfies both - his learning process from the nature around as well as the close moments that he shares with his guide(parent). Water is actually colourless but looks blue(again not always) when seen from a distance. The colour actually depends on the materials present on the sea/river -bed, the climate around and the observer's vision. We all know leaves are not ALWAYS green. They take up various colours depending on the season of the year. A vegetable like capsicum is not ALWAYS red in colour, we have at least 4 different colours of the same capsicum and if the child comes up with a 5th colour, let him be, who knows, if really the 5th variety would be discovered soon or by the child himself? Only when the child is let free with careful supervision will he be a better natural learner. Do not disturb the natural thought process of a child.

Next, is the role models!!! Parents are the first role models for the child to learn from and be exactly the same. Apart from it, do you wish your child follows another's path or carve out a path for himself? Do you think, you encouraging him to carve out his own path and be role model for his peers will give better satisfaction than forcing upon someone else's path on him? Rest is for your own thinking!

You may notice a 4 year old who is crazy about cars, may imitate a mechanic, same 6 year old becomes crazy about drawing and is an artist now, the same 12 year old starts learning about robots and even make some, 14 year old starts moving towards astronomy. So, interests are always evolving. A child who fairs average in his first grade may start to develop robots when he is 12 year old, but, only if he was encouraged to take up his interest. When parents are only concerned about child's marks in school exams, there does not arise the scope of providing children with time and opportunities to learn, fail and grow in their own interest. Getting marks and gaining praise in school is not the ultimate goal in life. Life is beyond what is actually seen on the physical plane.

Let's tweak the question a bit. What do you want take up as your profession in future?

Profession - A very heavy word for child of any age, or even an adult. Because, we never know what the future will bring us. The professions that exist now have not been there when I was in school. Clearly, asking what profession you would take after 20 years is a dumb question when you do not know what new professions would come up with every new year. So, by the time the present school-going children would be graduated, they would be exposed to many new professions that actually DO NOT exist now. Are the teachers and parents actually preparing the child for an unforeseen future? Are the children being provided time and opportunity to grow by themselves or always forced to run behind grades? We never know the future, may be, one of these children around us would come up with a new profession himself and start to provide employment? For this, the child should first be set free to learn what he wants, the way he wants with good guidance, not mandated to do this and do that in only a specific way.

As for a human, to what he would want to be as life progresses, I can list some :

1) Knowing the self
2) Relation
2) Communication
3) Empathy
4) Positive Lifestyle
5) Knowing, growing and being with nature
8) Meditation
9) Independent
10) Research
11) Study in one's interest
12) Faith

If you look at the above list, all of them, just ALL of them, are developed with a child's every day experience and close family members. And, all of them are more important than aiming for a profession to earn money. There are hundred ways to earn money but only one way to be the unique self.

Let the child be.

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At 2 January 2018 at 04:11 , Blogger lalitha said...

Very good article sujaya...always parents wanted their children to be best in everything.as you said.. lets encourage them to explore things in their own way n find different solutions to the same problem

At 19 November 2018 at 22:07 , Blogger Sujaya said...

Yes Lalitha!


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