Indian parents try to realize their own dreams through their children.

What we see is typical: a doctor’s child only sees the medical field. He or she is prompted to choose similar field right from the beginning. The child may or may not have aptitude, but is blinkered to see no other option. Result: the child’s personality is stifled.

Later in life, the individual may realize that they are not really interested in medicine (or any other field that is selected on the basis of their parents’ vocation). This leads to a life of frustration, unrealized potential and a broken spirit. Unfortunately this is a very common case of Indian parents thrusting their own thinking and aspirations on the next generation, thereby stifling the child’s growth in the long run.

Your child’s life is theirs. Not yours.

Parenting to tap child’s full potential

The real and ultimate objective of parenting is to allow your child realize his or her full potential. This can be achieved only if the child becomes aware of his or her needs, desires, aspirations and capabilities. Helping them grow up doesn’t mean giving constant direction, controlling all major decisions or deciding what’s best for your child (what’s best for you may not be so for him or her!).

For the children to identify their assets and capabilities, they need to try out new things. Exposure is important. Travelling, meeting new people with different lifestyles opens up new avenues.

The child needs to experiment, make mistakes, and learn from them – only then will their growth will be real.

Obsessive parenting affects parents’ well-being

Indian parents tend to get obsessed about their child. This obsession of the parents has another undesirable effect – on the parents themselves.

Since their entire focus is on their kids, their own growth and fun factor gets neglected. Remember, parents need to nurture their relationships between themselves as they grow old. They need to renew and rekindle the bonding between each other while age-related issues begin to creep into their lives.

When their kids are grown and flown the coop, they suddenly find that they are living with a stranger. They have not invested in their own growth and in the relationship with their partner.

Letting go

After a stage, parents need to LET GO. Ironically, that is the best gift they can give their child. Letting go doesn’t mean stopping loving and caring for them. It means letting them know that they have the freedom to choose their own path. It means allowing them to make mistakes and learning from them. Letting go means having confidence that your child has the ability to ultimately make the right choices - even if they make some mistakes. We may communicate to them that we are always there if needed, like a safety net, but not stifle their lives with our controlling. Letting go is giving respect to your child as an individual.

Letting go requires some courage. It means not living in fear that something drastic is going to happen if you’re not there to guide or control. It’s a spiritual step.

Letting go is good for you and ultimately good for the future of your child.