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Whose dreams are they?
Am I putting undue pressure on my child by wanting more for him than I had?
We all have best wishes and hopes for our kids. I was telling a friend of how I wanted my little Sammy to take violin, karate and swimming lessons so that he is involved in extra mural activities. The friend looked at me and calmly asked “is this what he wants or what you want?’

‘Uhm I am sure he wants that too, why shouldn’t he?’ I responded.

These are all activities I think he will enjoy and see no harm in him being involved in them. In the process I think I forgot to ask myself the question my friend posed to me – how much of that was what I wanted? Personally I would like him to be exposed to more than what I was exposed to but perhaps I need to be careful that I do not overload him.

Admittedly, swimming and violin are what I want him to do but I have also seen him taking keen interest in karate. He has a choice though to tell me if he is really not keen on the other two.

This made me think of other parents out there who might be telling their kids to take part in extra mural activities instead of asking or advising them. Parents who live their unfulfilled dreams through their children in a way making up for what they missed on when they were young.

Kids are said to be overwhelmed these days due to the workload they have to deal with. Probably some of that workload comes in the form of extra mural activities that Mama and Papa forces the kids to do. In my case Mama cannot swim and I would like him to be able to swim and enjoy himself in the water. It’s safer too. I am not having a child that will sit in front of the TV and not have his mind stimulated which could affect him.

Having thought a bit more, I do not think should force our kids but rather encourage and guide them. At the end of the day allow them to make their own choice and follow their passion of which they could excel at. We also have a choice to follow our own passions so why not allow the kids too? Kids should not lose out on their childhood trying to juggle life.

Having a happy child is one of the most important things we should strive for as parents and not be too ambitious. At a later stage I am sure this manifests to careers where parents choose career paths for their children. C’mon this is someone’s life we are talking here. Look at kids who drop out of their studies halfway through the course because they cannot cope or do not enjoy the course chosen by the parents.

Let’s support, advise and encourage our angels and not impose our dreams on them.

Read more by Masanda Peter

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