My cousin has two kids, both in the blithesome ages of under ten years. Beautiful and bright as they are, they always carry with them an aura of glee, joy and smiles. Yes, sometimes they play the role of troublemakers as well. At times they even take their role as troublemakers to be ridiculous states. But, otherwise, they are wonderful kids.
So, I was visiting my cousin after a long time and in the meanwhile, his outlook of me had changed. I did not know this and only took cognizance of it that night. Since January, I had begun to write very overtly about my ideas and thoughts on sundry issues, life and philosophy I believe in at my personalized website portfolio.
Many of those sundry thoughts didn’t always go by the general norms of the society and especially our family. And, that had somewhat intrigued him as he too agreed to most of my philosophies and tenets to abide by in life. So, once everyone was done with dinner, he took me aside for a talk that became one of my most cherished talks with my elder cousin I had ever had.
This was so because the man who I had always looked up to for advice and guidance had turned the tables this time. He was humble enough to venerate me by asking me for some advice on a subject that I have no experience in and he has been a part of for several years now- Role of a parent in today’s society. Allow me to elucidate further.
He apprised me how he could see his children becoming just other average kids as they were growing day after another. And, though he lamented the thought, he could not escape from it. I wished to interject him right there and then as I didn’t feel so about his kids. But then, I thought of letting him speak as he observes his kids on a daily basis while I visit them once in a while.
So, he definitely knows much more about them way more than their uncle (Me) does. He continued by saying that he is afraid that as his kids are growing up, they are becoming just the same as every other kid and he did not want that. But, he simply could not figure out what was going wrong on his part as a parent.
And, that’s when I interjected him finally. I told him what I had been waiting to let out of my heart for a long time now. I love this particular man in my life and he has been there for me at the stage of life when I had no one to look up to. I mean it, No one. So, I only wished the best of the best for him and his family.
So, let me articulate what I told him next. This also includes some additions which I forgot to add to our conversation that day. That is so because after I complete this post, I am going to forward the link to this post to my cousin as well. And, I wish to share with him each and every thought on the subject.
So let’s go!
Parents never wish to cause any harm to their children. They want them to flourish, become the best in their domains and have a smooth and happy life without much tensions and lows.
Empowered by that noble intent, parents strive to provide the best for their kids. Alas, at times the intent is not enough to get the kids to derive the desired results. And, one such thing is sending the kids to best of schools that one can afford. Actually, that is not just one such thing. Rather, that’s the most important such thing.
But, the one question they don’t ask themselves while making that headway for their kids is what knowledge from their schools were they themselves using in their lives as of present. What the parents themselves do to earn a living has hardly got anything to do with what the extant school curriculum and syllabus preach.
With that said, his face was flummoxed and he kept hearing me blabber. My cousin is definitely a decent listener. A quality I strongly adore. Moving on.
I finally explained to him the aspects which in my view actually affects our lives in the long run. The subjects which actually do matter and must be taught in the schools. But the doleful reality speaks a different tale. These in my view are the aspects of education that are absolutely unaddressed in our present education system and demand critical and urgent attention.
How to make money? How to make assets? How to make your assets earn money for you while you are holidaying in Japan? How to invest your money best way? How to save the money one has earned? How to create masterful companies and business models? How to invest, divest, and deal with matters involving income, taxation and others?
And, before you say that they are kids and they have still got a long time to learn about all those things, remember that there is a 10th Grader christened, Arjun Santhosh Kumar who is already an entrepreneur at the young age of 13. If don’t want your kids to be average, so expose them to role models like Arjun.
Moving on. The ability to deftly address the themes from aforementioned questions is the role of financial education that governs our earnings in the future as per my observation as a 22-year-old. Anyone older or with a better understanding of the same, can correct me in the comments section if I am wrong anywhere or missed any pertinent critical questions.
Neither of those aspects is even touched roughly in our schools as of this day. And, it makes me sad to say that even if the arts and science students don’t get exposed to those two subjects, for commerce students it is a must.
However, it’s doleful that exposure to such concepts has been an elusive utopia as only a handful lot of commerce students have an appreciable ken to answer those questions.
As a result, after 15-20 years of education, the kids grow into adults. However, they remain clueless about the most critical aspect of survival which is making money. So, as a parent, you have to play a role there and teach them all of those things.
But, you may say that you too are a product of the same antiquated schooling and education so how could you help your kids in that aspect? Well, use the internet, buy books, read and experiment in your free time. Glean the available knowledge, earn experiences and strive to be stellar at it. And then preach your kids the same.
Doers don’t succumb to challenges that life throws at them. Rather, they take challenges head on. And, when you would become a doer, you would inadvertently be teaching and imbuing your kids to be a doer as well. And, that itself will catapult your children to be much better than just another average kid. Double whammy!
Ergo, you would have won over your concern for your children becoming just other average kid. But, anyway, I don’t want my nephew and niece to be better than the average lot. I want them to be the best at whatever they make out of their life.
And, that brings me to the second aspect of importance which is not at all taught in the extant schooling landscape.
When I use the word social, I don’t mean social sciences or any other such term germane to understanding the society and its ordeals. What I mean when I use the terms Social Education is this-
How to deal with different kinds of people? How to address and accost different personalities? How to distinguish people with good and bad intentions? How to negotiate with other people and fathom if the other person is a bluff or is genuine at heart? How to decide who to be friends with, whom to maintain the status quo with, and whom to stay away from?
In a nutshell, social education in my perspective refers to recognizing and understanding people, their interests and then learning to deal with them in the most appropriate manner. And, that is where our schooling syllabus and curriculum again fails us.
I told my cousin to look back his memory lane and reminisce if he was ever taught any of that by his school. And, he had no answer to that question. And, that’s why it’s very imperative on the part of parents to ensure that they disseminate their knowledge and experience germane to these themes to their children.
Else, your kids too will have to learn those lessons the hard way by themselves running into heart breaks, troubles, blunders and maybe something even drastic like you and I did. So, while there is still time at hand and they are young, preach your kids on how to analyze people, understand them and then deal with them better.
This would in the growing years also help your kids in building a healthy and progressive cohort as he/she would have some acumen to discern what company is good or bad for them. And, with that said, it’s time I talk about the third crucial aspect which remains unaddressed in the school classrooms.
How to deal with success and failure? What is depression and what are its ramifications? How to deal with it? How to handle heart breaks? How to assimilate yourself when people leave or abandon you? How to be dexterous when you lose out on something big, be it a life-changing opportunity or a very close person? How to decide when and when not to take decisions?
Usually, in our societal terminology, a person with a sound understanding of the second aspect I elucidate upon above and the aspect which I am writing about at this moment is often called “a matured soul.” Someone with a deep understanding of life and dealing with it no matter how good or bad it gets.
But again, our schools don’t teach us any of that. Dealing with success and failures, highs and lows of life and ups and downs in relationships is something that has the power to pull one down viscerally and often even tends to push one into the murky gulf of demons like depression as well.
These factors impact every other aspect of our lives. So, who else is going to teach the kids about all of those aspects! You- The parents have to play that role. It is you who have to make sure that your child gets the emotional strength and understanding to not to succumb to visceral afflictions.
So, for the love of your kids, please be liberal with them and talk to them about everything ranging from relationships to problems in life. For instance, when in a financially stressed condition, don’t tell your kids that everything is fine and blossoming. Come up front with them. This is where most parents lie to the kids every single time.
And, yet, the kids are almost always aware that their parents are not telling them the truth. So, your lies are never really helping you or kids. You lying to them is only going to make them prone to failing to deal with a similar situation in future when they might be in a similarly stressed condition.
Be truthful to them about the tensions and sundry problems. They already know and understand that their parents are in some turmoil. So, you lying to them is never the rightful answer. Think about it!
Finally, it’s time to address the aspect which in my understanding is the most important one but is least cared about by the schools.
Self-Education & Discovery-
What are your passions? What do you like to spend your time doing? What are such things which you can go on to do unabated for hours without getting tired? What are your weaknesses? What are your strengths? What things do you wish to improve upon? What do you have to do to improve those?
How to not follow the herd and believe in oneself when in a dilemma? How to have the tenacity and audacity to stand up for oneself when everyone is thinking the other way? How does one choose a career out of his/her passions and interests? How does one learn to take calculated risks in life?
I can go on and on and on with such questions which define a person as a whole. And, in fact, most of the questions on Quora under the domain of “Life Advice” revolve around similar themes and that shows how important those aspects of life are. Furthermore, that also underlines how most of the people seeking the answers to those actually didn’t get those answers in schools!
After a child is exposed to all of those aforementioned critical aspects of education, its time they learn about themselves as well. It’s the most important of all. Every single individual on this planet has a distinct DNA programmed into them. And, that speaks of a grave and enormous blunder on the part of our education policy.
Our school’s syllabus and curriculums have been designed by a select team of brilliant minds from all over the country seated in an air-conditioned boardroom devising a procedure and process to suit all of those different children.
And, that is simply impossible. How can one expect a homogenous system to bring out the best of every single different kid in this heterogeneous world who is programmed differently from everyone else!
And, that’s why a parent’s role is even more imperative in making their child known to self. This aspect is all about self-discovery, identifying one’s interests, strengths, weaknesses and then gestating the might, tenacity and mindset essential to hone those interests, bolster those strengths and strengthening one’s ground on dealing with those weaknesses.
And, parents have to make sure that their kids do not end up just solving the math and science problems, but also gets to play, draw, skate, write, read, debate, paint, cycle, code and try out everything that intrigues them even a tiny bit. The onus is on parents to ensure that the kids get to explore and experiment with themselves and the world they are inhabiting.
So, make it happen!
If you are afraid or anxious that your children are headed towards becoming just other average kids, then what are you waiting for?
Take charge, understand your role in their lives, and then make amends to the ways they have been living, studying, learning and thinking all this long. And, before that, make amends to the ways you have been living, studying, learning and thinking all this long. That is the only way out for your kid not turning into just other average kid.
So, call the shots now by not being just another average parent!