Your children are not your children

Your children are not your children.
They are the sons and daughters of Life’s longing for itself.
They come through you but not from you,
And though they are with you yet they belong not to you.

You may give them your love but not your thoughts,
For they have their own thoughts.
You may house their bodies but not their souls,
For their souls dwell in the house of tomorrow,
which you cannot visit, not even in your dreams.
You may strive to be like them,
but seek not to make them like you.
For life goes not backward nor tarries with yesterday.

You are the bows from which your children
as living arrows are sent forth.
The archer sees the mark upon the path of the infinite,
and He bends you with His might
that His arrows may go swift and far.
Let your bending in the archer’s hand be for gladness;
For even as He loves the arrow that flies,
so He loves also the bow that is stable.

-Khalil Gibran

It’s time for exams. Time for coaching centres to get crowded, and the schools to appear deserted. Time for teachers to declare important questions to the best of their knowledge. Time for 12th graders to gear up for entrance exams of various colleges across the country. Time for students and parents to get stressed equally.

For parents, attaining excellence in education for their children is long drawn process. It demands sacrifices from the students as well as parents. As their child starts growing, most parents change their life styles to create an ambience for the child to get interested in study and school. Many parents start buying good books and magazines and engage themselves in reading them in their spare time. Of them, many do it just to develop good habits in their child. The sacrifices parents make to raise their child are indeed endless.

In the process of sacrifices and stress, many parents forget the most important thing- their child’s freedom. The Freedom of choice. Parents, apart from the usual good things they do, must essentially keep a close watch on the interest of their child. If their child exhibits a clear interest, then they must not force their child into becoming engineers, or doctors. If the child is among the top five students in his class with good scores in science and maths, even at 6th standard, it is very likely that their parents already dream of tagging the child as an IITian. This is a wrong attitude.

Parents must start taking pride in the child’s accomplishments. Atleast stop competing with other parents. The same attitude gets imbibed in the children and they forget to collaborate and stress out at an early age. Parents must understand that the world is too large and accommodating. It has space for everyone. A forced doctor or engineer at the cost of his freedom of thought is as good as a labourer. After making so many sacrifices at different levels, parents must essentially make one finally sacrifice- this time for their child’s happiness and well being and not wealth and riches- they must trust their child’s instincts and interests. They must gift their child with one essential gift of life- freedom.

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One response to “Your children are not your children

  1. Is a labourer not good, then?

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