‘My father wanted me to become a lawyer. So I became one. But today, I see my fiery passion for human anatomy’. This was a statement made by one of my friends who did her course in psychotherapy, much later in her life. ‘Harish, a software engineer finds his job lucrative but not self satisfying. He feels his inner care craves for doing substantial work in the field of social welfare and upliftment’ We come across many such stances in the lives of the people around us. What causes such deflections in the choice of one’s interests, aptitudes and hence one’s career?
It is most probably due to lack of self knowledge. Self knowledge is nothing but knowing one’s innate strengths as well as weakness. Fortifying one’s strengths and building our success and happiness on it is one and negating our weakness by not allowing them to destroy our success and happiness is the other. Because, after all, the key to self confidence lies in the knowledge of our self. A child starts building his/her self image and self concepts by picking up random collections of attitudes and behaviors from the environment. In course of time, they learn to make them a part of themselves so as to please their parents or to get what they want from the world around them. In due course, these attitudes and behaviors become a part of them and they see themselves as not what they really ‘are’ but as what they ‘want’ themselves to see as.
This destroy their original perception of them self. Hence very often, as adults, they land up at places where they are actually a ‘misfit’, in the philosophical sense. Where is the parents’ role in such an inescapable scenario? Their role starts, even when the child is very young. Children flower through instructive ways of self discovery. But if this exploratory age is curtailed or restricted by parents, they tend to lose interest in finding out what they ‘are’ and end up in becoming what they ‘have’ to be. As a result, they start trekking up the path of stress and strain, tension and anxiety, unlearning the naturalness in relaxing. They forget to learn the bliss, of relaxation and often end up forgetting to ‘be themselves’.
Parents can show they care for their child by taking an interest in knowing who their child really ‘is’. What is his/her interest/s? What does he/she not like to do? What activities kindle the spark in my child? On what occasions does my child show real favor/enthusiasm? Which of the environment/s intrigues him/her? Which of the activities puts my child on a completely absorbing mode of action? If a parent tries to answer a few of these questions at least, then the parent can boast of being a truly caring parent. Not only would it show how casing he/she is, but such observations about the child could well make the child recognize for himself/herself the most important way of sparking off the innate interest and aptitude hidden in the child.
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