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Introspect to become a better Mentor

Updated: Jul 25, 2019

Ask yourself. Who are you? Are you a parent? Or a teacher? Now, ask yourself. Is there really any difference?

When a child looks at you, he doesn't see a parent or a teacher; he only perceives someone to look up to; to seek you out when he has questions. His mind is yet extremely flexible and impressionable; meaning, whatever he hears, perceives and feels, will have lasting impact upon his life. But, here is a conundrum. Whatever he doesn't hear, doesn't perceive and doesn't feel, will have an equally lasting impact. So, how do we decide, what to expose him to, and what to shield him from?

Here, I implore you, to look back at your own childhood and adolescence. Look at what you were exposed to and what you were shielded from. Look at what benefited you and what brought you harm.

If you are able to look at your past self-hard enough, you'll see, that what reality you were exposed to and what negative outlook you were shielded from: propelled you; and what pessimism you were introduced to and what reality you were sheltered from: disrupted you.

Gone is the time when there was a strict segregation between the roles of a parent and a teacher. Gone is the time when a parent could blame a teacher for his child's under-performance or when a teacher could blame a parent for his student’s behaviour. In this modern age, the meaning of education has evolved and transformed drastically; and so should our attitudes towards it. We are no longer only a parent or only a teacher; we are both, sharing each other's authority, expertise and wisdom. We are a team.

It is our duty, as a team, to provide the child with a wide range of experiences; so that, when the time comes, he'll be well equipped to survive in this world, on his own. So that, he'll be able to make his own well-reasoned choices and have the potential to live with them; while harboring a strong enough mind and heart to decide what benefits him and what doesn't. Isn't this what you want? To raise a human being who has the courage to fight his own battles; who can be self-sufficient, both intellectually and emotionally?

Then why do we decide for him, already assuming that he is too young to understand anything. That when he misbehaves, something is wrong with him. That when he fails, he'll keep on failing. Albert Einstein said once, 'Everyone is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.' Please tell me, that it makes at least a little sense to you! Please tell me, that you can at least try to see the world from the child's eye, forgetting your own rigid mind. Please tell me, that you have the will to at least involve the child in his own life. Please tell me, that you can set aside your own ego and at least try to consider where his true potential lies.

We, cannot!, in our right minds, put ourselves in the driving seat of the child's life and one day, suddenly, and without any forewarning or explanation, hand over the wheel to him. It will of course end in disaster. So, why are we here?

We are here to nudge him forward. Not to push him. And certainly not to let him stand still.

We are here not just to augment his intellectual potential but to unlock his emotional capacity as well. We are here not just to develop his mind but to develop his heart as well; resulting in emergence of everlasting passion, compassion and conscience, to serve and guide him, through the journey of life he has just begun. We are here to merely tell him where to look, but not tell him what to see; not just tell, but to inspire. We are here not to fight for him; but to teach him to fight for himself.

Remember, "Our ways become their ways. The way we talk to our children, becomes their inner voice. Think wise, act wise, discuss and communicate, respect your kid’s uniqueness and there will be no limit to what he or she can accomplish.”

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