“Nurturing big dreams” – 11 July 2012

Even though it may be the overall responsibility of the whole family to give the children really big dreams to chase, the fundamental responsibility seems to rest more on the mother than on anyone else. This is not a traditional view of things but this is a reality that cannot be brushed aside easily. And the reason is not far to seek. For, as the infant grows into a child of three or four or five years of age, her only constant is more the mother and none else. In a miniscule percentage I have witnessed fathers being equally present. The family may have other elders as well, but the mother’s role is unalterable and un-exchangeable. She is there with the child all the time. The child relates to her more comfortably than she does with others, and the quality of communication between the child and her mother is altogether different from that between the child and any other elder in the family.

Actually, until the child starts going to school, the mother is the only constant companion and guide for the little one. They are twosome, gelling very well with each other and communicating wordlessly all the time, inseparable. And the process of giving the child a really big dream to pursue gets completed in this golden period when relationship is not circumscribed by worldly expectations from either side.

But it is also the unfortunate period when many mothers seem to get stuck in the groove of details — when to feed the child her breakfast, when the child goes for the music class, when the child goes to bed in the afternoon, which pre-school the child should attend etc. The mother, too, is young and rather inexperienced, and tends more to get stuck in seemingly important but actually inconsequential details. Therefore, the silent process of giving the child a really big dream to chase is missed. The golden period gets lost in the mundane-ness of daily living.

It is in this period that the mother has to rise above the normal, above the mundane. It is during this period that she has to brace herself above smaller details and introduce the child to really big, sublime dreams that would take away eventually the sleep from his eyes, something that would make him want it absolutely badly. And let us face it. This is not a process that takes place only in individual family units. On the contrary, this is one process that is a product of a larger, more extensive societal romancing with its children. But outside that larger circle, it is the mother whose task it is to give her child a really big dream to chase, and not just something like ‘my goal is to become a doctor’ or an engineer, or an IT professional, or …..! For, once the child ‘becomes’ that, then the road ahead seems to get cut down drastically. And then question arises: What after ‘that’? The answer, too, is easy: ‘More of the same’. That is fulfilling only a small goal, and not a truly big dream. A society that fails to give its children truly big dreams to chase does not remain vibrant in a true sense. Hence the need for the mother to remain alert to the child’s true potential, and give him or her a truly big dream to chase.

This is not expecting too much. This is only expressing an expectation, so that all the kids are fired by big dreams. This may not happen in many homes. But even if the number of such homes increases, then a lot of difference would be made, could be made.

This could be a dream project for modern mothers.


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