SELF HELP RESOURCE - Parenting / General

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“I always wanted to be a sports person, and I will have my son trained by the most successful coach to be a famous football player”.

“I wish my parents allowed me to follow my dreams, but I will make my daughter a dancer and see her perform all over the world”.

 “Though his interests keep changing, I accompany my son to every tennis class, it will motivate him and I know what’s best for him”.

How many times have you made any of these statements?

Take a pause and ask yourself- where these hopes are coming from?

There has been a surge in the number of studies which indicate that some parents think of their children as extensions of themselves. Parents are sometimes unaware that the hopes they have for their children may be coming from their own unfulfilled dreams, as has been found in a study by Brad Bushman. Parents make conscientious efforts to have their children make these very goals their own.

This could impact one’s parenting style because of how blinded these parents are by the importance they have given to their child achieving those dreams. In fact, research also indicates that when a child is able to accomplish these dreams, it helps parents to get rid of their regret and disappointment of not having achieved it. This perspective blocks the idea that each person is an individual and has their own hopes, dreams, aspirations and goals. It discards the concept of individuality.

As a parent it is natural for you to want the best for your child and to have hopes and dreams for your little one. Along, with that comes the need for your awareness and understanding of the difference between healthy yearning for positive growth and behaviours which you engage in that put undue and unhealthy pressure on your children.

In order for you to manage your hopes for your child in healthy ways you could adopts the strategies given below:

  • Be a parent who is self- aware – that your desires may be different from your children.
  • Respect your child’s dreams. Coach your child on the goals which they have for themselves by sharing values which could help them with learning and achieving those dreams.
  • Look out for areas of interest which you share with your child in order for you to nurture the quality of your relationship and to have increased time for bonding and building memories.
  • Remember that it is never too late to pursue your dreams- this helps you to stay in touch with your own aspirations and not live through your child only. It also allows your child to learn from a role model they watch closely about the importance of giving importance to and loving oneself.
  • Love and accept your child the way they are; this will help them accept themselves as who they are not compare or compete with someone else. Teach them the value of personal growth when reviewing and planning their trajectory of life.

Lastly, keep in mind what Klow says, “, a child has to be free to follow his own calling – not the calling of his or her parents”.

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