When you type in Google Search “Indian Parents” the result you get will leave all parents, including me, in a state of shock and an instant spiral of reflection. Are we as Indian parent doing such a bad job of parenting by pushing our child to be SMART. Well let’s take a look at some aspects based on a variety of data ;
Firstly, Children are not a source of our unfulfilled aspirations and social bragging.
SMART is an acronym that stands for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Timely in management galleries. Therefore, a SMART goal helps focus ones efforts and increase the chances of achieving them. Are we in some ways applying this pressure to our children every now and then? Are we as parents leveraging our children as a symbol of social prominence? We all can reflect and find honest answers to the above. It is quite paradoxical that with a relatively high order of connected families as we would like to comfortably call ourselves, India leads the world in teenage depression, One in 4 teenagers in India suffers from depression and yet, we keep pretending this is not happening in our own homes and schools. Isn’t this disturbing and what we as parents can do about it?
Image of a confused Indian Parent with his children, Illustrative
Wait a second, What is wrong with We the Indian parents?
Are we being micro-managers when it comes to our children? We want them to get exposed and excel in a diverse set of activities. And, above all COMPARE: the classic Indian parent syndrome depicted in a popular Film Sharma ji ka Beta (With due respect to Sharma community). This approach only leads to pressure and destruction of confidence. Imagine our child telling us that Dad, Mom, my friend just bought a penthouse and he comes to school in a 5 series or a S class. How would any parent feel? Let’s just turn the tables and picture we as parents doing this between siblings, neighbours and relatives mistaking this as motivating our children to perform. Will we not learn, not to repeat what may have happened with us while we were growing up?
Secondly and furthermore, Pandemic’s impact on our children is far deeper than what we can see.
We must take this matter with a lot of deep thought instead of being in denial mode and leaving our children emotionally vulnerable. With their schedules, socialisation, playing and every other significant dimension being dislodged and reduced to home schooling, calls and among us, things aren’t easy when it comes to their growing up years. Besides enabling their education are we addressing there holistic and multi-dimensional development?
Its high time for parents to make changes in our thought process and lifestyle.
We should create a Bond with our children as friends and not as a vehicle of making us look good. Lets not direct them and rather redirect them, have open and unplanned conversations, give them their space, do not impose our likes, judgements and perception. Rather, share anecdotes from our life without making it a sermon and DO NOT COMPARE. PLAY with them and encourage them to indulge in physical activity. The World Health Organisation recommends 60 minutes of physical activity for children aged 5 – 17years. Help them organise their screen time between their school, hobbies and physical activity.
Childhood obesity is now an EPIDEMIC in India! With present day lifestyles, every child needs to undertake physical activity . It’s no longer a discretionary activity. If Zoom and Teams is the new classroom to education, then Physical activity is no exception. Our child should not be missing out on fitness during the pandemic. Companies across the world are recognising this problem and are working towards it, says Netflix of fitness when adding classes for kids.
Image of a happy Parent with his children, playing and looking active and smart, illustrative
It may sound as if physical activity is a solution to all the vows listed above . Well, basis enough research provided and as a founder of a Fitness and Sports Tech company, YES!. A popular NHS foundation hospital, UK says that Leading Active lifestyle for children results into
- improving fitness,
- providing an opportunity to socialise,
- increasing concentration,
- improving academic scores,
- building a stronger heart,
- improving self-esteem,
- improving posture and balance,
- lowering stress,
- encouraging a better night’s sleep
AND THUS making your child REALLY SMART (Strong, Making an Effort, Aspiring, Reaching Out and Training to take on the world stage), the type of SMART anyone of us would chose.
So, lets as parents aspire for a REALLY SMART kid and get our Fundamentals Right, thus enabling our child to be ACTIVE for Life.
A Child in various stages showing holistic development,
Founder, upUgo.in , A Sports tech Platform with a dream of Democratising Fitness and Sports