This article might be offensive to some, an eye opener to some, and just a plain “I knew it!” to others, but regardless of what it is to you, someone just has to pen this out. Whether you like it or not, you can’t be right in everything.
Culturally, most times, especially in the African culture, it is unheard of, for one to say that an elder is wrong, or is lying. But in as much as we want to keep the balance for respect, there should be a limit to what elders can meddle in. An elder can meddle, when a child is moving towards becoming a threat to the society, or is putting his/her hands into things that would hurt him/her in future, but there are some aspects that parents and elders should not meddle in a child/ward, which is a childs dream and purpose in life, as doing this would be like meddling in the balance of nature, which would definitely end in catastrophy.
I would point out that some parents have their child(ren)s life already mapped out in their head, that once a child begins to deviate from this “created idea”, they begin to see a lot of fault in that child. Okay, let me chip this in here- No Child Is Useless!!
Every person was born with a special gift. Some call it purpose, some call it talent, but regardless of what you call it, it is important to harness and build on these gifts and talents. but just like in the parable of talents in the bible, while two were able to multiply their talents, the third person buried his talent, and when their master came back, he praised those that brought interest, and became angry at the one that returned back the single talent which he had buried. So the master took the talent from him and gave it to him who has the ten talents. The verse 29 went on to say “For to everyone who has will more be given, and he will have an abundance. But from the one who has not, even what he has will be taken away.”
This chapter of the bible gives an in-depth importance religious -wise of building talents. now going back to parents, please, every child was born with an innate talent, so it is your job as a parent to watch your child/ward, and notice traits that he/she exhibits, things that he/she pick interest in, and are easily caught doing. if a child likes to join things together, start early, and support him/her, as the child grows older, ask them questions, like ‘which do you prefer?’, or ‘would you rather do this.. than that..?’. Note that you must not be judgemental about these issues.
A parent/guardians duty is to guide these young ones, and not dictate for them. If your child see you as a dictator, he/she would grow into becoming rebellious, which in itself is very catastrophic.
If a child likes dancing, and is great at it, encourage the child,if you can afford an instructor, get one, if a child likes fixing things and is good at it, encouyrage that child. Give your child education, that way, the child would be more exposed to understanding what he/she prefers. if the child likes instruments, teach him/her how to play them, cameras, sports, art, science, selling, writing, acting, baking, whichever natural talent a child has should be nurtured. empower these kids with skills that you derived from their innate abilities.
You might havegood intentions as a parent/guardian, but when you do it the wrong way, it can affect the child negatively. Remember – passion is the best driving force in a persons career. the pay cheque might sustain you for a while, but what keeps you for long is the passion you have for what you do.
Parents/guardians/sponsors have various reasons why they might want to restrict a wards career preferences, they include;
The Need To Relive: some parents want to relive their life through their child(ren) this is as a result of past mistakes, experiences and under-achievements. therefore, they believe that a particular career would be more lucrative for a child, therefore, that career that they were unable to build for themselves they force on the child. This is a hugh No-No a child already knows what attracts him/her, and would not be so bright in another field where e/she has no interest.
Fear: some parent force particular professions on a child that they believe would make them live a secure life.
Pure Jealousy: as weird as it might sound, mischievously, some parents would restrict a child for fear of the unknown. These kind of parents have already had their dreams squashed while growing up, and they cant comprehend that dreams can be actualization, they internalize that wanting dreams is bad, When their children want their dreams it rouses fear in the parents so they in turn squash their childs dreams so they can remain on the same level. this is as a result of the atmosphere where they grew up.
The Need To Fulfill Their Own Dreams: while growing up, and before marriage/childbirth, some parents plan the entire lives of their children. The already fantasize about escapades, career choices, gender, and many other unpredictable things. This shouldn’t be so, as it leads to frustration and when you cant achieve it in reality. therefore, you should not blame the child for that, parents should know this because, just the way you can’t tell the complexion or the face of a baby that is in the womb, you can’t also predict what a child would like to be. your child is a completely new being that is different from you. believe me, you don’t share the same purpose, so, you should allow your child to choose for him/herself, while your job is to guide the child.
Like i said earlier, no child is completely dumb. God’s creation is never useless, but the problem still boils down to the system in general, and parenting in particular. Your job as a parent is to understand a child, and discover his/her strengths. work on those strengths to make them better. A person in his teenage years can help him/herself to an extent, but still needs council, acceptance, and assistance from parents/wards.All animals are unique and strong achievers in their own domain, but they look like failures in an unnatural territory, for instance; an eagle sours the sky for miles, it looks unstoppable in its territory, its a fierce bird right? but the moment you take it out of that territory to the sea for example, it begins to struggle, at that point, it looks like a failure to great fishes who do very well in their own territory. Take a shark out of the sea, and it wont survive, but in the sea, it is a great animal. Even animals understand the job of nature, a leopard cant change its spots. The innate gifts of a child should be nurtured and not changed. it can be supported, but not changed. Do these and watch you child succeed.
Photo Credit: Getty