There is an old saying that parents vicariously live out their dreams through their children. The hidden unrealized aspirations of being a doctor, engineer, or sportsperson are projected onto our children but our insistence that they take up a particular sport, a particular subject in school or follow a path that we believe is what would be best for them.
We’re all guilty of
this whether we admit it or not and we are heartbroken, dismayed and sometimes
even angry when our children rebel against us and show indifference to the
ideas we have for them.
If we all actually followed our dreams, I suspect that the world would be full of firemen and astronauts, but as we ourselves have left our dreams behind to move either into our parents vision of our futures or into a compromise of what we want and we have to settle and do.
How do we guide our children, allowing them to explore their world, make their mistakes and support their victories and failures? The easiest way is to wash your hands off and leave them to struggle through their young lives, but perhaps the better way would to support them with their ever changing ideas. We could consider doing this by creating opportunities for them to explore their passions, accept that the choices they make are theirs to be made in the first place and probably most importantly never judge them on those decisions meet counselling specialist.
Perhaps your Nobel Prize winning, Cancer curing Doctor would rather be an artist, musician or a teacher. Noble professions all, but if that is what they love, leave them be.
As we have as in our own past experimented, loved, hated and found certain activities or skills unobtainable, we have learnt to live with our own shortcomings and move on. The only reason we have been able to move on is because we tried and failed.
We believe, correctly, that our children are the best of us and we should not try and restrict them by making them conform to our picture of the world. We should be their cheerleaders on the sidelines watching their lives with pride and gratitude.