Am I doing the right thing?
The story begins differently for all of us. For some, it’s the culmination of long-standing desire and commitment, while for others, it’s the shock of a lifetime, served on a stick. How-so-ever it begins, the rendering for almost all, is a lifetime of battling indecision, questioning one’s judgment, and constant comparison with thy neighbor. Begrudgingly we also come to acknowledge the effort put in and the challenges faced by our parents in bringing us up.
We, of course, are discussing the quagmire that is parenting; the shifty, boggy under-belly of a superficially well-anchored family. The awkward challenges that we “the parent” are quietly facing, ‘to let be’, or ‘not to let-be’.
“She’s so brave, didn’t shed a single tear despite this decidedly painful cut!”
“Is she really brave, or just pretending to be brave because the mother does not want a sissy?”.
You know that these, all-too-familiar conversations are not playing between a husband & wife, or between daughter-in-law and the ‘all-knowing’ MIL, or not even between two helicopter mums… these scenarios play out in our minds every day, as if we have split personalities, the two egos constantly at logger-heads, the antithesis that is the right and the left brain.
Am i doing this right?
No pressure at all
Of course, like any other sensible parent out there, I want my child to be an all-rounder. He has to be the sports star and the math whiz, and still, the coolest kid in his batch, nominated for the president students council.
With all that, he still should have free time to learn a language, do free play, read and code an application to fight climate change, AND visit an orphanage on his birthday.
If and If
If the child is smart and knows things, he’s a nerd. Will he be excluded from the mass of popular mediocre’s? Will he be bullied and called a geek?
If the child is not smart, not a prodigy, then… god help him! Will he ever move out?
The Logical Brain takes over
Every hobby need not be a passion and by extended logic, a source of future income. Let kids enjoy sports/ reading/ playing instruments for the heck of it. Every interest of the child need not be milked for potential scholarships and financial pursuits. It’s a hobby. Please.
Every kids who enjoys chess is not going to be a grand master
Every kid learning golf won’t be a professional Golfer.
Every kid who reads won’t become a writer by default (though she will be smart by virtue of reading)
By the same logic… Every Gamer will not grow up to build games and apps and be an overnight billionaire. Also, the same Gamer will not necessarily be a couch potato and a loser in life.
Like Daniel Kahneman (of thinking fast and slow) points out… Our thinking brain is built to ignore larger statistics. Hence we parents dream extraordinaire and dream illogically.
We ignore the simple fact that most kids are going to be average and lead average (though still substantially happy) lives which will be a big bonus if we only look at stats and the fact of how much worse it could get.