It was just another pleasant evening in the neighborhood. I was out walking with my friends when I noticed a harried mother following her toddler who was walking, or should I say running around with her toy stroller.
Now, this little female had a mind of her own and would insist on running towards a group of older boys playing soccer. The mother was trying her best to move the child away from the boys, as she obviously didn’t want her child to get hurt. But the little one let out a scream and turned right towards the boys again. This continued for some time and the mother was close to tears. And just then, another parent who must have observed this mother-daughter interaction smiled at the tired mom and said, “You are raising a leader. She is not going to follow you. You have to follow where she goes.”
In a world that requires children to listen to authority, and follow directions, it amazed me to see and hear such an out-of-the-box thinking by another parent.
In a world that passes judgment at parents for not being able to control their children, a tiny gesture of understanding and support feels like a breath of fresh air. A tired-looking parent and a tantrum-throwing toddler is a common sight for most of us. But, how often do we get to see an understanding passerby who puts a completely unique spin to the most common situation that a parent faces with their little ones?
When a child is throwing a tantrum or seems to be questioning our decisions, our initial reaction is always that if they don’t listen to their own parents, how are they ever going to respect authority?
It never occurs to us that we could be raising a leader, someone who will grow up to set his own rules for others to follow.
If everybody wanted to be leaders, who would follow them, someone who lifts everyone up? In any group of kids that we observe, we will find kids that make up new rules of games and teach their friends the right way to play that game.
On closer observation, we will also find that a group of kids that follow these rules and regulations. As parents, we want to instill leadership qualities in our children. But we fail to recognize the importance of people who implement these rules set by the leader. Can a teacher function without an assistant? Can a chef prepare all those tasty dishes without those who chop vegetables?
Every job that a person does has its place in society. Let’s not undermine the importance of raising those rule followers and implementer.
We all have come across emotional children. These kids always seem to cry at the drop of a hat.
Anything that seems to be even slightly off and the tears seem to promptly flow. And then we start worrying about how this kid is going to manage the challenges ahead in his life. We never stop to think that we are raising children filled with love and empathy. They cry because they feel more strongly than others.
These might become adults who understand the importance of valuing feelings and emotions.
Raising Critical Thinkers
What about those children who seem to live in a world of their own? They have been called introverts, extremely shy and sometimes even anti-social. The one thing that they truly are, but never been called is observers or thinkers.
These are the children that grow up to discover gravity after observing an apple falling from the tree.
These are the kids that have an amazing social skill set. They are the extroverts that make friends easily and maintain relationships with the same ease. Parents may worry that their social life may come in the way of their other responsibilities. And then, these kids set out to prove their parents’ worries wrong by using their social network to build a career of their own and even become billionaires.
A common sight in every classroom is the class clown. And if our kid is that child, we shake our heads wondering if they would ever be taken seriously by anyone in their life. And yet, these are the kids who bring a smile on everyone’s face as they might grow up to be entertainers in the show business.
As parents and people residing in a community, we are often quick to pass judgment on other parents or members of our community. We all have, at different times, raised our eyebrows at a child throwing a tantrum and their tired parents. We also have, as parents, wondered how our parenting skills and our child’s behavior will be judged by others. The truth is that children should be raised in a worry-free environment. Every child comes into this world with their own skill-set …strengths as well as weaknesses. It is our job as a parent to make their strengths stronger and their weaknesses weaker.
And it is our job as productive members of the community, to help other parents by offering them a judgment-free community. Comment below and let us know what quality you feel your child possesses at present?
Raise Confident Kids with a Global Mindset with Strong Roots!