Knockout rounds in the NBA are a best of 7 series, and if two teams are tied 3-3 after 6 games, we are going to the much-cherished Game 7. LeBron James in the pivotal game 7 averages an awe-inspiring 34.9 points, which is almost 8 points more than his regular season average of 27 points. An eight point difference is huge, it’s like you go from being a ‘good performer in a Ranji match’ to a ‘peak Sachin Tendulkar’. This dichotomy can give us some insights on raising a child in the 21st century.
Focus on the bigger picture
In a do-or-die game, it makes sense to run every play through your best player. But if your goal is to win a championship, it would be better if your best player tries to involve everyone and get the best out of the team. This is what makes the Lebrons of the world take a back seat and let the team rise to the occasion. Life is not a one-off game, in fact life is not even a championship, but a series of championships. We often say, “Doesn’t matter if you win or lose, as long as you give your best”. This doesn’t mean we don’t want our child to win, but we want to prepare them for something much bigger.
Encourage children to win ‘championships’ not just a game
Raise your child not to win a game, but to win a championship, in fact a whole bunch of championships. You do that by helping your child develop character, and it is this character that will help him win consistently over the long run. Try discussing issues of morality with your child and instill a sense of right and wrong from a young age. ‘Win at any cost’ is a very dangerous mindset and will only hamper a child in the long run. Harshad Mehtas and Ketan Parekhs come and go in disgrace, but it takes 70 years of doing the right thing to become a Warren Buffett.
Build team players v/s individual performers
Teamwork is another quality you want to instill in your child. The great institutions of 21st century require the collective talents of the best minds to work as a team, and a child must learn to get along with others from a young age. It becomes progressively more difficult to become likeable with age. Teach your child to be reciprocal, to pay attention to others around him. If your child is fun to play with, other kids will want to play with him, and adults will want to teach him. This will enable your child to make friends for life, and these friendships can turn into career rewarding opportunities later. This is the best form of networking. Raise your children so that other people will also like them, not just you.
Let your child endure hardships
Another thing parents ought not to do is overprotect the child. There are a lot of children today with no siblings and that’s a sort of a disadvantage because siblings toughen you up. Also, the average age for first time parents is steadily increasing over the years. In the 1980's and 1990’s, it was very common for people to have kids in their 20’s; it is far less common today. As you age, you have more access to resources and these resources can be used to make your child’s life easier. But do we really want to make life of someone we love easier? And how much easier? How many people do we know around us who have retained their wealth beyond the third generation? The answer is incredibly few. As much as we try to get rid of hardships from our lives, it’s the very same hardships that create the best people. Mahatma Gandhi, Rani Lakshmi Bai, Shaheed Bhagat Singh, etc. are all products of amazing hardships. So, the next time your child comes up with a problem, resist the urge to solve the problem for him. We are stronger than things can be terrible.
So, expose your children to all sorts of experiences as this exposure is what will define their lives.