My son has no interest in science and maths, though Id love to see him become a professional engineer or a scientist. He likes to draw and sketch and is mad about music. How do I convince him that drawing and music can only be leisure pursuits? – F.R., Delhi
Its perfectly normal for some children to be averse to STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) subjects. You need to take a look at todays media headlines. Professionals exist in a multiplying number of fields, from education to music. Your child can achieve great things without science and maths, though he needs to give these compulsory subjects his best in school. Explore alternative career paths with your son, to discover what suits his aptitude and interest. Today professionals excel in all types of vocations, from astrophysics to pet care.
Becoming a professional in any vocation is about passion, commitment, and interest in a chosen specialisation. Its entirely possible your son could become a celebrated music composer, or music trainer. Or he might evolve into a great graphic designer or animation expert. Parents need to encourage all hobbies and passions of their children, as well as favourite subjects in school. Children need help to realise their potential. You would be a great enabling parent if you can help your son identify appropriate study programmes and career paths which suit his personality and interests.
Is your child creative or crazy?
What if the globally celebrated musician-composer A. R. Rahman had been pushed into becoming an engineer? The lives of millions of talented children are blighted by parents with common academic expectations. Here are some suggestions to ensure that you dont crush your childs dreams and talents.
1. Dont proscribe hobby-related activities like dance classes, music programmes and sport during classes X and XII. By all means, reduce the time spent on extra-curricular activities during exams, but dont forbid them altogether.
2. Shed the belief that studies and exams are more important than anything else.
3. Encourage children to put time, effort and dedication into anything they are passionate about. Make sure your child learns as much about the field as possible, and builds her skills in her chosen co-curricular or extra-circular activities.