Dreams Versus Reality- How Should We Guide Our Kids

dream big kids- Parenting resources by ZenParent

When I notice my kids do something different and out of the box, a part of me hopes that their passion never loses momentum and gets carried forward to set a new benchmark but simultaneously, the fear of ground reality keeps tugging at my mind. And hence, I am eternally doing the ironic act of encouraging them as well as trying to hold them back at the same time!

It’s becoming an astronaut one day and a cricketer on another and I often wonder what stimulates the minds of these kids. What makes them decide and zero in on a particular profession? If it is cricket, is it really the game and the satisfaction involved in playing it as a sport or is it the glamour and glitz of being ‘Sachin Tendulkar’? Given today’s times, where there is a larger than life hype around the celebrities and their lifestyles, it is very natural, I guess, for kids to get starry eyed and have an altered perception of success. Maybe they idolize certain professions only for the money and fame involved.

A TV ad that I recently saw, put me in a reflective mode. The protagonist was being urged to rediscover her lost dreams from the sands of time. And I wondered if most of us are by products of sacrificed dreams crashed against harsh realities as well? And are we as parents doing the same to our kids?

Here is where we as parents can offer our guidance. While we can always motivate kids to follow their dreams, we also need to talk to them subtly about the hard work and effort involved to get there or be that someone and remind them that all is not as rosy as it seems. They need to know that there are many other cricketers who have struggled and striven to make it to their dream team and their work gives them equal satisfaction and joy although they have never made it to the cover pages of any magazines or drive around in a Ferrari. It is all about waking up each day and doing what you love and not about only how famous and wealthy it makes you.

This understanding helps narrow the crevice between dreams and reality to an extent.

Also identifying what really makes one tick is another issue. There are so many people I have come across who have spent a major part of their lives doing something they ‘thought’ they liked but eventually realized the stagnancy it was causing and made a shift even if it was at a very late stage of their lives. That is the reason perhaps we hear our kids come up with a new ambition every six months sometimes.

kids and their aspirations- Parenting resources by ZenParent

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That I believe is not fickle-mindedness and absolutely no reason for worry as to where our kids may land up at this rate, but experimenting & exploring.

Steve Jobs said this to students all the time that they should keep trying and looking out for that one thing that finally gives THEM (and not others) the peace and satisfaction no matter how long it takes and if our kids want to experiment we should let them go ahead instead of worrying about the future and rather encourage them to snap out of the self-restricting bubble of trying too hard endlessly to please everybody around.

However if they seem to have settled on a particular thing, it is important to acquaint them with the hard work and dedication required by letting them start the ground work in the form of training /coaching early for the same. This will of course help them stay ahead in the game but more importantly give them the valuable awareness whether this is what they were looking out for or not.

This is like gifting them their dreams wrapped neatly in reality.

Gone are those days when it was extremely simple for us to decide what our kids would do (walk in the footsteps of their forefathers) and dreams were almost synonymous with reality. But with evolving times,opportunities and attitudes, instead of being rigid and revolving around insular views, it would be wiser to not only give our kids the wings of their dreams but also stabilize them firmly enough with the roots of reality.

Click here to know how to nurture mentally-strong kids.

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