What do you want your child to become? It is in our DNA to give advice to our children. Do we know the choices out there?
It was culmination day aka graduation day for my 5-year-old daughter. The Song ” Circle of Life ” was playing in the background. One thing that stood out was a game they organized. It is called “What do you want your child to become?” Prior to the game, they circulated yellow slips in which parents had to put what they wanted their kid to become. My wife asked me what to write on the yellow slip, I told Miss World (Why not ?) She was shocked. Consensus prevailed and I asked her to make the call!
On one side were the parents’ expectations in the yellow slips. On the stage were these kids holding black slates with their names on them. Every time a parent read from the yellow slip, the child would flip the slate and show his / her choice. Some Flipped much to comfort of the parents. My Daughter flipped and we both flopped. The exercise attracted lots of laughter as we saw alignment and misalignment. Parent Child ambitions matched for engineers and Pilots. These kids may have been very vocal about their super heroes or super heroines. However 80% of the parents got it wrong when it came to their child’s choice , ( Including ours truly). This was a revelation for us as well. We mulled over an Udupi coffee. My wife observed that ” Girls picked teaching as a profession more than boys”. Her explanation was that Girls identified teachers as their role models. That brought a profound thought, “Do we continue to have role models in Life?”
I was struck by a podcast by Tom Bileyu and his guest Chase Jarvis (Entrepreneur , Educator , App Developer , Key note speaker , Director , Author , Photographer). This is a multi faceted professional. Further analysis revealed that Artists and these kind of Multi faceted individuals all have role models for each professional venture . I realized one thing for sure , these children will keep acquiring new skills as they evolve in this world and will have multiple role models.
My older daughter today has a Dance Role Model and a Basket Ball role model ( no academic role models!) I also started thinking of my role models in life. I too had many role models in each and every stage of our life. These days I have a role model on the professional front, on the blogging side and on the public speaking side. Once you have a role model in place you will get the GIST (Great Ideas for Starting Things)- Be Open, Dump your Dogmas, Fan away your old filters and Start acquiring new skills. After you start, a student like discipline and athletic practice are crucial to sustain and achieve your goals.
Role Models give us the narrative to challenge ourselves. You do not need to reinvent the wheel every time when you have a template offered by a role model.
So “what do I want her to become?” I want my daughter to become more of a child every time she grows into an adult, as there is no exit path from childhood to adulthood in this Circle of Life.
Vinod, this is a good read. I liked the way you have connected your personal story till the end.