Sooner or later, there comes a time of self-determination in the life of each human. Who am I? Why was I born? What will I do when I grow up? Someone begins to worry about it at the age of 13, and someone has a clear goal to become a paleontologist at the age of 3. Today the child is interested in dinosaurs, tomorrow – those are bicycles of all stripes and sizes, the day after tomorrow – spaceships, then the work of the circulatory system and so on. How to be parents in this endless cycle of interests? How to help your child find oneself?
Often, the most difficult thing for parents is to get separated from their child(-ren). Many mothers and fathers think that since they graduated from Polytechnic Institute, their child will be at least the most talented inventor of aircraft. Someone dreams of continuing the dynasty of military leaders or designers, someone openly tries to realize their unfulfilled dreams in their children.
In our society, it is natural to consider that children are the continuation of parents, that no one knows their children better than parents, that if you don’t take the child by the hand and guide, nothing good will come out of it. Yes, this is partly true. But only partly. If you want your child to find ONESELF, not you, but ONESELF, then, first of all, let’s separate it from mom and dad. Your child is another person, completely different, not known by us, free. And the only thing our child needs is to live happily one`s own wonderful life. Therefore, let this fact seem sad to someone, the role of the parent is accompaniment.
Of course, if we want to grow a happy person, we need to become happy ourselves. Imagine how many readers giggled nervously now. Yes, often we lose our happiness. Especially often with the phrase “for the sake of the happiness of the child.” But the child will never be happy while parents are unhappy. If your child is your life, s/he will never find oneself, but you, wherever s/he goes. What am I doing? To the fact that if we want our children to look for themselves, we also need to look for ourselves, our place, our work, all that will make us happy. If you have already found all this – great, the child has someone to take an example from!
And then, in fact, we will search. How is this search expressed in a child?
Every baby, every person, from birth is endowed with something (gift, talent, ability, inclinations – call it what you want). Parents need to discern these abilities. Do not guess, but see it as a fact. By four or five years, usually many already have something to show. It is still very ghostly, but you can already take this bunch of hobbies and do something with them. To see talents in a child, just give him free rein, be with him, accompany him, answer his questions. Think about what the child most often asks you about? What does he draw? What is he playing? How does he prefer to spend time – does he sit at books, runs and jumps, sculpts and draws sings and dances? Of course, a three-four-year-old child does it all a little every day, especially if he goes to kindergarten. But something he loves more, something he does better. Watch the kids. Sometimes, children are very shy to stand out with something, nor can they sing beautifully only while swimming, tell long poems in the process of drawing, and so on. So that, for example, you see that your child runs very fast – you need to run with him on front.
Whatever you see, support. Your husband is a trucker, and your son writes poetry? You dreamed about a ballerina, but got a chubby charming artist? Even if you are not ready for such talent, give support. You may have to plunge into the knowledge of planets and the cosmic depths. Perhaps it will be robotics or impressionist artists. Of course, a common human misfortune called “selective vision” often emerges here. Often, we are simply not able to see what is unusual for our minds. If I don’t know how to draw anything but a village house, I can easily overlook a talented painter. If parents by nature do not have any ear for music, they will not hear magnificent grace notes. But if you see that the child draws or sings days and nights – do not drive him to football.
Watch, approve, show friends and relatives, suddenly among them there is an understanding person who can guide the child. Expand your boundaries, develop, learn. If the child sees what you are trying, he will also be full of courage to take a step in one direction or another.
Every person has a dream. Any dream is made up of large and small goals. And the task of the parents is to teach the child to set and achieve the goal correctly. How does this happen?
- A dream
The child compiles a visual-audio picture “cool karate kid” and brings this dream to you: “Mom, I signed up for karate.” And here mom should maximize the boundaries of this dream. We ask questions: what do you see? How do you feel there? What skills do you have there – what can you do? What emotions do you feel? All-all that you think up to the smell. So that you get the most vibrant picture.
- Explore the obstacles
On the way to any goal, we can meet big and small obstacles: you will have to join the new team, you will have to obey a strict coach, you will have to get on the bus at night, you will probably be hurt in training. But we are not talking about all this to scare the child, but to prepare him. For all problems are solved, and all obstacles are overcome. Ask your child what other solutions are available. You may have to break one big goal into several small ones to make them easier to achieve.
- We help the child to recognize the need for error.
The child may be wrong. Give him that right. Teach your child to accept any mistake as an experience. Yes, your daughter can go karate. She may not like it. Perhaps it was a mistake. But now she understood, martial arts are not her cup of tea; she can go back to dancing.
- Develop the ability to try.
If a child was engaged in different types of dances and suddenly wanted to learn music, then for him this is a completely new skill. And if we want to acquire a new skill, we must allocate certain resources to ourselves and take, in fact, a step.
- Get rid of doubts.
Already at 6-7 years old, a child before going to a new place may have many doubts. Then we ask him questions: What I do not know? What can happen? What might be needed? And together we answer these questions.
- Gradually form independence.
To teach a child to do something on his own (whether making eggs or making a decision), we first show him an example. Then we try together, then we give the initiative to the child, and we help ourselves, then we give him responsibility, but we reserve the right to come and ask for advice. And advice is not a ready-made solution. This is a tip 🙂
- We teach the child to weigh the consequences for himself and others.
For example, a daughter went to karate. What are the consequences for her? Perhaps she will lose her familiar circle of friends. Perhaps karate is much more expensive than dancing, which means that it will receive less pocket money. She may have to travel a new route or walk fairly long distances. What will be the consequences for others? Perhaps dad will have to pick her up in the evening, which means taking leave from work. Perhaps the younger sister will suffer from regular spontaneous training. Well and so on.
It may happen that in the process of setting goals, the goal will fall off by itself – the child will understand that he cannot devote so much effort and time. Or he will understand that a dream will have undesirable consequences. Or something else. Accept such an outcome, even if you put a lot of effort and time into explaining and finding solutions. There are two outcomes – in the end, the child will either decide that music is his life and then, being in the right state of mind and common sense, you can’t stop him, or music is not his, and you can’t stop him from playing football. Be careful, share hobbies, answer questions. But never give in to momentary whims. Before changing the sphere of development, go the path to the dream, support the child along this path and give him hope. Sooner or later he will find himself. Do not bother.