Love is pure and unconditional state of your soul-self.
– Catherine B. Roy
Last night I had a talk with my teen daughter. I wanted her to know that she doesn’t have to be best in the world in what she will become. I would love her anyway. She said: “But mom, I am going to be best in the world”.
Some people would give up on following their dreams in sports,
for example, because they will not become Olympic athletes.
So what’s the point in pursuing?
But I believe the message for us, and the message we should give our children is: “Be best in the world in being you.” This authenticity and determination to practice and develop one’s unique individual talents is key for success in life.
My 17 year old daughter is going to be an artist. If fact she’s always been an artist. She has practiced all sorts of interests, but art has always been what would take her out of home in stormy weather even running a fever.
As young girl, many of her friends loved arts lessons. But they have all been directed out of it, since it’s not a profession. You have to have a job. I’m very worried about that.
Is a person going to be happy leading a life he/she is not passionate about?
Is it unconditional parental love to direct a child out of his/her creative potential, because we have to prepare him/her for life?
Time will tell if I’ve been responsible encouraging my daughter to have a profession “that doesn’t pay”. Although when she’s at the studio creating, her happiness is like a spring field flower washed by morning purifying rain, fresh to enjoy the breeze and sunshine’s caresses.
But I can tell you this. Times have changed, and those who have jobs are not feeling secure, or well paid. On the other hand the world has become a global village, where creative innovative people who have found niches that define them have multiple opportunities to serve other people and earn their living leading a life of integrity.
What’s more, people who are fulfilling their dreams, will inevitably become successful due to enthusiasm and motivation that will push them to pursue what is driving them as human beings.
I believe this is wonderful. In this kind of world, you can raise your child to be faithful to his/her mind and heart. Moreover, unconditional parental love is not only possible, it is a must.
In the future work world flexible, confident and ideative people who are keen to explore new paths will thrive.
The way to raise such creative thinkers is to raise children who follow their passions. If you switch off a child in one respect, you stifle that creative spark as if by an unseen domino effect.
Here are 5 useful tips for exercising such parenting:
- Don’t force your child to have interests. But if he/she comes and says: Mom, dad, I want to learn tennis, debate, drama, Flamenco dance, journalism, arts, or building flying model airplanes”, (All have been courses my daughters participated in) do the effort to let the child be exposed to the new excitement.
Your mission is to learn where the child’s true passion hides, the one he/she will pursue as life mission. All the other fields of knowledge he/she has been enriched with in the process of finding him/herself, would make him/her an interesting multidisciplinary person full of original ideas.
- Listen and observe. Notice in which activities your child is happy, confident and free. Where is he/she quick to enter a flow of creativity? Where is he/she at his/her best?
And listen to him/her and to educators’ and friends’ observations about him/her. Sometimes a mere acquaintance will reveal something to you about your child that you have never noticed.
- Model excellence. Let the child see that you take what you do seriously. Whatever he/she will become you can’t control. But if he/she will take his/her work seriously, he/she will be on the right path to success.
- Be on the child’s side. Going through the demands of school is a lot of stress. Let the child feel that it’s more important for you that he/she will love learning, than the focus on grades. This is not only a message of unconditional love. This is a strategy for helping the child take responsibility for his/her studies feeling challenged and motivated from within.
- And lastly, every now and then, cup the child’s cheeks with the palms of your hands, look him/her straight in the eyes and say: “You’re wonderful. Raising you is a great pleasure.
I love who you are and who you are becoming!”