A few days back, my school mum friends and I got together for an event and got talking about our children’s future in terms of education and possible career paths. We all want the best for our children and that means different things for each family. We all want our children to be happy and well adjusted and that also has different measurements for each family. While one mum discussed how hard she (and her partner) worked to be the professionals they are, I couldn’t help but consider the underlying struggles she often discusses such as having had to balance family, parenthood as well as ongoing education for a long period of time. While the couple is reaping the rewards of their hard work and are thriving in their chosen careers, their elder child is on the path to similarly bright future as well. This got me thinking what I may my child to be when he grows up and how I can provide him with opportunities to achieve that. At this stage, he wants to be a postie (a postman) or a spy, none of them shock or surprise me since both the professions are equally fascinating and ‘cool’ for my 6 year old boy.
Through my personal and professional experiences, I have realised that most parents hope for their child to be successful in a chosen profession. Some have preferences such as a white collar (not the tv show) or a more hands on type of role, again depending on their own background as well as dreams. However I am not sure if parents give much thought to the process and experiences that they want for their children while they work towards achieving this end goal (career). For my value system, academics and a work life eventually will be PART of life for my children, a significant, defying and important one but a PART only and will never fully define them. I truly believe in investing in ALL areas of your life in a conscious and somewhat calculative manner so that you are not relying on just one or two major areas to receive rewards from.
Having said this, I want my children to have experiences. I want them to travel, travel alone, travel with others. I want them to see all the places they can dream of, meet interesting people along the way, indulge in the cultures and whatever else a place has to offer to them. I want them to fall in love! Multiple times and have their hearts broken! To love and to be loved is intoxicating! I want them to be their own person, even if it means they don’t confide to the rules and create their own pathway for the journey they have chosen. I want them to learn how to ‘Just Be’. Without chasing a dream or working towards something, just be…..
I want them to be confident, emotionally intelligent, assertive, sensitive and most importantly I want them to be accepting – of themselves and of others. I want them to be colourblind and love others regardless of the differences. I want them to be passionate, with whatever they choose to do! I want them to be authentic and fearless. My dreams for my children are made up of qualities and emotions. (Yes, that alone wont pay the bills and they will incline in a particular direction along the way as they progress in the academic years).
How I can help them achieve my dreams for them is
- by constantly working on and strengthening the relationships amongst four of us
- by communicating clearly, frequently and authentically (and by knowing when to maintain silence)
- by believing in them, in their strengths and weaknesses and by letting them make their own mistakes
- And by providing them with the opportunities to expand their mainframe so they are able to move away from limited perceptions and think and dream higher
What are your goals and dreams for your children? Any plans on how to help them come true?
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