There are two ways of thinking about your child —
a) as someone who belongs to you, OR
b) as someone who belongs to Life
Yes, you gave birth the child, and if you’re a woman you qualify even more so for having done that — having carried the baby in your womb for nine months. But there is a subtle beauty in thinking of the child as one who belongs to Life, instead of belonging to you. And that you as a parent are only a caretaker during the early years — someone who’s responsibility is to enable the individual life to spring forth in expression of what gives it joy, health and happiness.
We are all different in our intelligence or in other words there are multiple kinds of intelligences. We react differently to situations; we peak in work focus in different conditions, environments or states of mind & emotion; we are inspired to learn different kinds of things & subjects/topics in life; we learn these these subjects differently than others, and even at a different pace than what others might do.
Yes, grades at school are important, understandably even more so in India with Delhi colleges cut-off lists at 99%, but what also then becomes important is a certain space to allow the child to learn what she wants, and a pace that she wants. There is a gentle sense of surrender that presents itself then — your focus shifts from getting the child to get the maximum marks to gearing up the child for learning all life-skills that are required to lead a healthy and pleasant life — which without doubt also includes clearing the public school education system with decent grades.
In surrendering a little to life, other skills such as making ones own decisions, understanding the consequences of those decisions, taking responsibility of those choices and their consequences — these in my view become more important than ensuring the child’s success at school no matter what.
There is a certain space in this attitude for Life itself to determine a pleasant future for the child — after all it was Life that gave birth to him, while the parents were only a tool. There is a reduction in anxiety for both the parents and the child.
The most important rewards of being a parent aren’t your children’s grades and trophies — or even their graduations and weddings. They come from the moment-by-moment physical and psychological joy of being with this particular child, and in that child’s moment-by-moment joy in being with you.
In the “parenting” picture, a parent is a kind of carpenter; the goal, however, is not to produce a particular kind of product, like a chair, but a particular kind of person.