Child Development, Parenting & Education

Figuring out your child’s goals

Quite frankly, it’s not easy yet simple once you have figured it out. Since 5 years of age a child has so many dreams of being an astronaut, doctor, chef, etc. they model what they read and see. Their models need not be realistic but fictional like superheroes and imaginary beings like dragons, unicorns, etc. this continues till they reach their school years and start looking at careers like teacher, doctor, pilot, etc. and model them as their goals, again looking at the surface i.e. just the personality. Once children reach their higher secondary years and college, as adults they realize what are the other aspects involved to get to their goals, they may tend to change their direction and few are determined to achieve their dreams.    

“Children must be taught how to think, not what to think.”

— Margaret Mead, cultural anthropologist

Me being the eldest from my five siblings (i.e. my sister and 5 cousins), I have seen them grow, we played together and got involved in small talks and silly jokes, through the years I realized I had deciphered their strengths and weakness which they had no clue about. My sister being very artistic and creative had the talent to portray what she saw on paper, I know there are many out there but she was unique in her ways and stood out. After her 10th results, she decided to take on Science just because of her high percentage and the power of influence from the society and parents, at that point I strictly warned her things won’t be easy and that that was not her forte, she was blind enough to see what would make her happy and chose her field as per what the society wanted and parents want… that was the turning point. Sadly, two years was not easy and she was sloshed without breaks. Finally she had to get through her board exams and then she realized what she is truly good at and started pursuing that. Some where someone had to show her a sign a direction to help her choose what would make her happy. I did the same for my cousins, I gave them a direction and left to their choice whether to take it or not.

To help out in your child’s pursuit towards their goals, a parent must follow these 3 steps from their child’s early years, that is:

Involve

Observe

Encourage

And the rest will fall in place, this needs to be done from the beginning of their childhood as that is what defines their nature as an adult. If you find that your child has goals that are rigid and has the determination to achieve them, then let them be, but teach them what it takes to be flexible and if your child is lost and wondering what he/she should do, then as a parent following the above three rules will help in determining and aiding your child to choose his/her goals.

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