To be an ideal parent, one needs to be an ideal human being. Ideal humans are those who are balanced in different dimensions of life. We understand that there are several aspects which a parent should advise his child upon. In my book, Time Management for Students, I have explained that there are four dimensions of life – Physical health, Relationships (emotional care), Career (psychophysical) and spiritual (ethical).
Parents should themselves be balancing these four dimensions in their individual life and should advise their children in a similar way. Without this ideal balance, and without the wisdom of balancing life, its not advisable to play role of guiding a teenager. To explain this, let’s view life as a ‘Subject’ to study. Parents need to be expert at the subject then only they can teach it to their teenage children. The good intentions of a teacher without his expertise will do as much good to the student as will the parenting by parents who live unbalanced life themselves.
If the parents feel that academic success is enough, they are greatly mistaken. Academic success is merely a minor factor in long lasting success and happiness of a child. Moreover, academic success is a by-product not the primary result. If a student is encouraged to be balanced in Relationship and Spiritual dimension, naturally he becomes responsible in Career dimension. Spiritual dimension also gives the students a purpose in life and thus they receive inner motivation to excel academically.
Ideal parents also know ‘when to let go’. It is important that teenagers should be allowed to freely choose their line of career according to their own interests and inner call. Ideal parents never make career choices for their children; parents’ role is to make the child aware of the opportunities & challenges and encourage the child to pursue his own path. Nor do the ideal parents ever persuade their child to develop interest in what they feel is “socially acceptable” career line. Wayne Dyer, an American Self-help author, spoke, “Love is the ability and willingness to allow those you care for to be what they choose for themselves without any insistence that they satisfy you.”
We may want to influence our teenager and grow him into successful people, but our strategies which we use may belie it and demonstrate forceful behavior. A too rigid parent, with no matter how many good intentions, will not be able to give emotional care to the child. With emotional needs unfulfilled, thereby Relationship dimension of life being un-balanced, the academic excellence (and much more) of child will be put to jeopardy.
Ideal Parenting needs tones of wisdom. It’s necessary to acquire the wisdom with careful study of wisdom literatures and by their conscious practice in life.