I was in Punjab. A family interacted with me. They were very proud that they child was a smart kid. He was all of 11 years of age. He was plump, pink in his cheeks and was very bullish with his words. The father of the kid prompted me to ask the kid what he wants to become when he grows up. Parents often want to hear what their children dream about becoming when they grow up. Often, parents\’ support for children and their dreams must contain two aspects; help them dream, nurture their dream and explain to them what they need to do about their dream. In common terms, we call this vision building. You must help your children have a vision of their own.
So, I asked the kid. He started as if he was waiting for someone to ask. He told; I want to become the prime minister of India. I asked him why; To which he said; I want to make robots and he continued to explain. His father sported a smile with pride. I stopped the boy and said; hold on kid; The prime minister does not make robots. In fact, the primister is an administrator. He gets things done. So, if you want to make robots, you become an engineer. The kid looked at me dazzled. No one had told this kid what I had just told him.
The role of parents in helping children have a vision
There are two roles for parents when they decide to help their children have a vision.
- Nurture your child\’s vision
- Set an example of vision building by creating your own vision.
I remember a family where both parents were visionaries. The father and mother had the idea that if you want to be or do something in life, it all begins with waking up early. So, both parents were up and ready for the day before sunrise. When their son was born, it did not take him much time to be up and ready before sunrise.
In another family, the father was a visionary. He woke up early. The mother was a home maker and woke up a little after sunrise. The children simply followed the mother because that was more convenient. Children often copy adults and do not realise the value in what parents say. They follow examples.
When you work towards a vision, you are creating a healthy environment around you. You influence people to be more, do more and live more.
Nurturing your child\’s vision
If you want your children to listen to you, become their hero. Father\’s need to spend quality time with their children so that children can see and identify with the hero. A child will hero worship his father for two reasons.
- He likes you and loves what you do
- He needs your appreciation and so he will copy everything you do.
When you spend time with your children, they will want to be like you. On the contrary, when you are unavailable to them, they will still copy your ways, but only to seek your acceptance and appreciation of the fact that they exist and desperately want your attention.
In another blog, I had written about a father who was prompting his child to have a vision. When they both came for counselling, I revealed to them what was happening. You can read it here…
Set an example by having a vision for yourself
I am alarmed at the magnitude of people who are working today only to pay their home loan and to fund their existence in the city. Most of the people I have met do not even have a vision. It\’s dangerous. It\’s poisonous. How will their children have a vision?
You need to set a vision for yourself. What does this mean? You need to ask some basic questions to yourself.
- Why are you doing what you are doing?
- What will be the outcome of what you are doing 5 years from now?
- What are you doing all this for?
The answer to the first question will give you your objective. The answer to the second question will give you the goals in the next 5 years. And the answer to your third question will give you your vision. If you did not do this exercise, and revisit these three questions a few times every year, your are doing nothing by running on a treadmill. You will be where you are, for the rest of your life. You will get more salary. And, you will invest in more assets, etc, etc. But, you will not move an inch in your life. Your growth will be lateral. Not wholesome.
It\’s never too late to execute your vision
My mentor is a cardiologist. He wanted to help people and so he became a cardiologist. He was born and raised as an Indian in the United States of America. When he moved to India, he worked for Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Medical Sciences as a cardiologist. He was simultaneously working on his vision of doing something bigger. He has a son who is now in college.
At a point in time, the Institute had to let go of him for various reasons. He got to his vision and is now tied up with research centres, laboratories and manufacturing facilities to produce a device that helps reduce pollution levels in air, water and soil. The Organisation is essentially Indian, but soon, they will be global.
Unless you take your steps to create your vision, your children will follow your footsteps in spending all their life working without a purpose.
Children dream. Help your children nurture their dream. Then help your children have a vision for their future.
— Mahesh Krishnamurthy