Is My Son a Prodigy?

Today is Children’s day in India….. Nov 14th and I was sitting with my 7 year old helping him with his English and Math homework and as usual he was doing his work and I was browsing Facebook; thinking what to pen down today when someone posted the news about an Indian kid who they say is a computer software wiz… a prodigy….… wow…. that’s nice….

I go to google search for his name and go over his details, YouTube videos, and his dad’s LinkedIn profile and so on…. In between one question hits me…. Is my son a Prodigy………..? … Is he…? Yes I know you might laugh, but honestly any parent can have that thought….. What if he is….? what if I am missing some special talent that can also catapult him into the prodigy circle……

He was busy with his homework and I looked at him….. the question was boiling in my mind…. Is my son a prodigy?…… then slowly that question starts changing…. can I make my son a prodigy…..?…. how do I make my son a prodigy…? I realized that I was treading territories I really hated to be in, but sometimes you give way to being just a parent…. A very selfish one…. And let the thoughts engulf you….

Handprint of loveI went back to Google again…. Lot of articles on child prodigy…. How you can identify if your kid is a prodigy to how you can make your child a prodigy….. I slipped into Wikipedia and started reading the list of child prodigies from recorded history…… The only names that I immediately knew were Srinivas Ramanujam….. Rabindranath Tagore….. the young Clint from Kerala…. Pascal, Beethoven…. Ok I know them…. How come I don’t know many others… there are many…. may be because my general knowledge is very limited….. but who needs general knowledge, we have Wikipedia…..

As I was reading this, my son was done with that part of his homework and instead of moving on to the next one he was on the floor enacting some weird Pokemon scene where he was Pikachu and blabbering something…. I looked at him and realized that probably he loves Pokemon the way those child prodigies love to do what makes them prodigies… but every kid likes pokemon…… that’s not a special talent….Then the question dawns on me…… why do I want my son to be a Prodigy…..? and I got my answer as well…. It was a very selfish thought and had nothing to do with my son…… he was happy as Pikachu and It was me who had started comparing him with others…. I was the one who wanted to force a prodigy out of him….. what an idiot I am…..

Why Am I writing this……? For no reason.…. Just to remind myself that every kid has their own ability and as parents we should try less to compare our kid with others….. I belong to the South Asian community where comparison is in the blood…. We all grew up mostly being compared with the best kid in the class or the neighborhood…. And some of us even grew up to detest these local prodigies….. every now and then I too become that south Asian ‘child comparing’ parent and I thought of a post to remind me that I should not….

I am also writing this because sometimes we become so self centered with our own kids that we forget the world around….. We put all the effort to make them competitive all with the good reasons… for them to have better opportunities…… when people ask me where I live and I tell them, the first question they ask back is how is the school district….. and I reply….. I think it is good…. the kids are happy……

I am not against people doing best for the kids, but sometimes we fail to understand them…… life is changing fast…. kids are also growing fast….. the gaps between parents and kids are getting bigger and more complex….. there is no simple answer…. that is why parenting tips is a very lucrative industry…..

In my opinion, kids will grow, they need guidance and sometimes they need a push, they need to be disciplined, but they also need to be kids when they have to….. they need to be able to look at the world around with a wow feeling….. they need to be happy….. they need to fight against injustice in what ever way they can….. they should be ready to accept a mistake….. they should thank… they should apologize….. they should help, care and be compassionate…… they should be logical and rational…… they should be amazed by science…… they should question…. be curious….they should be able to love….. they should always be on the side of humanity…… they should be ready to change when they have to…… they should love to learn and learn to love……. they should have fun doing what they do……. they need not necessarily be anywhere close to being prodigies; but they should be able to be a kid even when they grow up….

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Categories: Articles, Articles & Opinions, Humor, Life, Life and Happiness

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