It has become common to hear grandparents crib how unruly and adamant children of today are. They don’t get why parents of today are spoiling the child and sparing the rod.
While they have a point, when I look back, I see we as the children of the 80’s and 90’s were raised more under the shadows of our parents. But a 4-year old today has the capability of denying the dress her parents choose for her for an ordinary outing.
This cannot be seen as something to do with how the then parents raised us or how we are raising our children today. Rather this is about the evolving of the acquired traits over generations. I see ‘originality’ as one such trait which has been predominantly evolving in the human race in the last two decades. As a matter of fact, people of our generation may have our originality coming out more in the recent years than as a child. And we have passed this acquired trait to our children.
From 1st to 30th April, I write one post a day on The Things that really matter to Children. Scroll to the bottom of this post to see the complete list of posts in the series.
O for Originality: Preserving your Child’s Originality against all Norms
Parents of today have a unique responsibility of coming to terms to our children’s innate nature. Since we belong to a cusp generation, subconsciously we might tend to parent like our parents. But if we were to understand that our children are a new generation meant to live a life of independent thoughts and decisions, we would begin to preserve their originality.
Well, why should we preserve our children’s originality?
Over the years, I’ve come to realize what it takes to a life being well-lived. The more we develop clarity in our roles and the more we pursue things we are passionate about, the more closer we get to a life being well-lived. I’ve come to believe that everything else – success, fame or bank balance – will one day take a back seat in our hearts unless they contribute to this feeling of our life being well-lived. And, the clarity and the power to pursue our passions near their precision points as we get closer to our innate, original self.
Otherwise, when our inner selves are wandering hither and thither under the robes of values, thoughts and opinions of our parents, teachers, society and a status quo, our originality is lost. And we remain unsettled from somewhere deep within.
If we were to dictate every big and small move of our children – which dress to wear, how to play, how to draw, how to colour, what to speak, what is good, what is bad, how to behave – we are unknowingly robbing them of their originality. It may seem wise on our part to impart knowledge to our children and teach them discipline and habits. It maybe partly true but we must identify our line beyond which we shouldn’t strive to transform them to mini versions of ourselves.
If our children were to state a point which defies our values or principles, how we handle their unique visions matter to them. When we foster their individuality, they are going to grow to confident adults – adults who know how to pursue what they want to do.
Children of today are born with an intuitive ability to be original even if it demands to reject conformity. As long as we encourage them to foresee consequences and practice empathy, their originality should not become a thing of worry to us.
I am not sure how commonly this topic is addressed. But today, I had to write this down. What do you think about preserving your child’s originality? Write in the comments. I would love to hear.
List of posts in the Series