Thursday, June 15, 2017


Having spent years helping young ones develop their self-confidence, I have come to one clear conclusion: Parents’ critical messages alone are not responsible for the low self-esteem of their children, their smothering messages, too, are equally responsible.

A daughter of one of my dear students got 91% in SSC. The young one was very clear about what she wanted to do: Humanities (Arts). She wants to, eventually, major in psychology and go about doing what she believes in (at this tender age). Yesterday, the mother called me up to update that they had collectively decided to take admission in one of the local colleges and drop the social compulsion about seeking admission in the ‘Best College for Arts’…

I loved the decision…

What can the so-called ‘The Best College’ do for you if you are not ‘good’, leave alone ‘the Best’?

The best teachers, the best facilities, the best exposure… yes, these things definitely can help if the students have their attitude in place… This young girl, who has joined a local college to pursue Humanities, will certainly do well… I know her. She is good – full of initiative, enthusiasm, people skills, communication skills, organizing skills, and, above all, she is creative, humble and able to lead. When these qualities are already there in the student, it helps tremendously… The girl will make the most of what is available to her in her college – teachers, facilities and opportunities.

Parents must involve in their children’s’ decision-making process when it comes to their career choices. But, in the name of love and care, many parents smother their young ones without realizing that they are doing that… Smothering love invariably destroys the confidence in the young one. From the outside, it appears as if the parent is doing it for child’s own good… but, it undercuts the young one’s self-confidence… It cripples him! In fact, if we look for the dictionary meaning of the word ‘Smother’, it is: kill (someone) by covering their nose and mouth so that they suffocate…

Isn’t it scary?

Every time we encourage our children to trust their instincts and take their decisions, we help them build their self-confidence. On the other hand, every time we undermine their capacity to do that and do it for them – take it from me, it silently eats up their self-confidence… It is akin to covering their noses and mouths and let them suffocate… and, yes, die!

Where lays the problem, then – in the child or in the parent?


Pic.: Sheela Krishnamony

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