Last Sunday, I had to take my niece, Kimya, to McDonalds for her best friend’s birthday party (at the last moment, her mother and my sister, was engulfed by tooth ache and Kimya was not ready to miss the event for anything on this earth! To be honest, I was left with no choice). She was taken away by her group of friends as soon as we reached the venue and as I knew no one (closely) there, I preferred to take one of the corner-most seats. I did not expect, but it was fun to watch naughty ones having ice-cream competition, running after the bubbles and flaunting their outfits. Amidst of all happenings, the kids were made to play a few games, and the one which drew my attention was “What do you want to become?” The answers from 5-6 year olds were serious & hilarious and varied from Deepika Padukone (the girl was not able to spell the name properly so, sang the song ‘yeh deewani mastaani ho gyi’ to convey her choice), Virat Kohli (a very common one), Cinderella (she still reigns over many lil hearts), Kalpana Chawla (I was stunned to hear this one!), Spiderman (seriously?), and many more.
Although I enjoyed thoroughly, howbeit, this so-called smart game perturbed me a lot. On the way back, Kimya was talking about return gifts, yummy cake, birthday girl’s hairstyle and what not, but I was actually not listening (my apologies to Kimya!). That game seemed to get stuck in my mind and today, I’m writing to share my viewpoint on the same with you.
Why can’t Neetu become Neetu, Ashish become Ashish, Kavya become Kavya, and Bhola become Bhola, when they grow up?
If they can, then the question is – Are parents and family members responsible for those answers (as none of them wanted to be themselves)? Are they limiting the brains that have infinite capacity? Do they set the wrong stage for the tender ones? Probably, Yes (directly or indirectly)!
Parents, most of the time unknowingly, condition their darling sons and daughters (embed in their subconscious mind) to be like someone else. Statements like “See, Saina Nehwal bagged bronze in the Olympics, you have to get gold”, “My lad is too good in mathematics, so in the next few years India would get his next Bhaskara”, or “It is good to serve others, you should seek up to Mother Teresa”, do the job!
Rightly said by someone “Children become what they are told they are”. And, this is how it happens!
Now, just imagine, if the Kalpana Chawla’s mother would have fine-tuned her kiddo to become a famous Kathak dancer, how would we have got our first woman to go into space? Or, if Dr. Abdul Kalam’s father would have directed him to become a famous lawyer, would it have been possible to get the Missile Man of India? No, isn’t it?
Okay! See it this way – if a sapling is covered with a very heavy container; it cannot evolve or blossom the way it is supposed to, as we have confined its growth. Right? Same happens with young ‘uns thought process too.
The point is that every soul is gifted and should be allowed to discover that special gift!
Thus, instead of saying that be like Oprah Winfrey, tell your lil angels that her life was not peaches and cream. Still, she made it big. So, learn “To fight against the odds” from her. On similar lines, you may share with your juniors that after 1,000 unsuccessful attempts, Thomas Edison invented the light bulb. What they should absorb from him is to “Never give up”. Tell them about everyone, still; let them be their own one! Even when you get toys like Superman for them, don’t forget to mention that they should grasp to “help others” from him!
You know, as parents, the best thing you can gift your child is freedom! Freedom, to be what they want to be and not, what you want them to be. Don’t make them follow the others’ footprints. Advise them to inscribe their own on the sands of the beach called ‘life’! And, believe me, the result would be astounding. You know something like, the first person to set his foot on Mars, Nobel Prize awarded to the guy who finally won over Cancer, or a girl who surpassed Bill Gates in ‘The World’s Billionaires List’, and more.
Are you convinced or should I go on saying more? I guess you must have got the point and now, you would just let your kid be…