April 13, 2012

Good parenting: helping to nurture the calling within

Good parenting. – It’s about helping our children to survive in the environment we leave behind. That much no one disputes. Perhaps that’s what each parent in us knows intuitively. But the approach with which we go about it does vary, and will make the difference in our children’s skill and ability to face their future. The basis of how we do this relates to how well we understand our children’s needs and demonstrate continuously and persistently, our love and support for them. A child is dough in our hands and we as "bakers" have the control of how the dough can turn out – bread, bun, roshi or the like; an irrevocable transformation. But unlike a baker who turns out bread for the demand of the market out there, the parent has a tougher job – that of understanding the inner leaning of a child or the potential to be her best for society.

Unfortunately, many of us parents carry within us our own non-negotiable notions of what our children should be when they grow up, and so become rigid in our demands without understanding their innate potential to become what they can best become. Our stiff attitude is often a result of our past unfulfilled aspirations – for our children to be what we could not be, or for them to be just like the successful self that we had become in the family’s occupational groove. Either way it is our ego that dictates our hopes for our children. When we listen to our ego, we are making a big mistake. We are being blind to a God-given gift of a skill that each one of us is sent to this world with -- to be discovered within us for using it in the service of mankind. God sends every one of us to this world with a gift of a skill; something we can do better than anyone else. If we can sincerely search for this --without being side tracked and influenced to follow the success path of others --, find it, and put it into the service of society, and not for selfish reasons, one would have clear success in life. You will also know when you have found that skill of a calling. It is that skill, in which when you engage yourself, you lose track of time. Some say this is the definition of enjoyment.

People who are truly successful in their jobs are those who enjoy their trade, while those who are miserable going to work and spending stressful days are obviously not enjoying themselves. The misery is perhaps because their jobs do not align with the divine niche they were given. Parental and societal pressure directs us to where the money is but not where the heart is. If we can be made aware of this early in life, many of us would not have to go the way of such struggle. Incidentally, there are so many stories of people who discovered or were assisted towards such callings in early life or even in mid-career, and who, in the awareness or delight of that discovery, sought career path changes that transformed their lives and succeeded fabulously.

Good parenting is also about role modeling the accepted norms of society, and coaching children about having healthy and harmonious relationships with people –what is now called emotional intelligence. Roll modeling is a hard thing to do, but parental maturity must provide that edge of life-skills support to their children that will help them find that given path to a happy and prosperous future.

No comments: