Read a very interesting article in the Economic Times “Showcase Kids- An Obsession With Indian Parents”.

Writes Partha Sinha, Regional Strategist, Publicis Asia: Children in India have the highest display value and ‘performing’ kids are always a source of pride for the parents.
He cites examples of kids on display. On YouTube there is surprisingly high number of Indian posts where a child is performing something beyond the ordinary. The one he remembers clearly is a little 2 or 3 year old rattling off the capitals of all the states of the US. Why would some parents force a child to memorise all state capitals and why would the proudly put it up for display?

“The Indian obsession of putting a child on display has its roots in the way we have culturally looked at our progeny. Children are new improved versions of the parent –– they don’t and can’t have an identity of their own. The expectation of ‘extended self’ is so much that most people don’t bother to make a pension plan. It’s almost a given that the child will take care of the parent because they are one and the same”

It is ever so common for parents to want their children to do what they think is best for them -which may not necessarily be what suits the kid best. Very often kids are pressurised to take up careers which were beyong the reach of their parents for one reason or the other. In India, every year, hundreds of kids are pushed into taking courses in engineering or medicine much against their will. There is a certain amount of social pressure to study courses perceived as being highly paying.

In my view, it is important for parents to understand the intrinsic interests of their kids and support them – emotionally- in achieving their goals.

I mean, of course, the kid’s goals!