Christmas is around the corner again and everyone gets the chance to play Santa to their loved ones. Being a parent probably gives one the perks of playing Santa to their children all life. There are innumerable things, material or intangible, that you can gift your children besides memories. Of course, memories are the best gifts for their future. I still cherish my childhood for everything my parents had done to make it a memorable one. I am yet to start raising a child, but I would like to jot down five gifts that would be essential in crafting their future as stellar human beings.
1. ‘No’ to gender stereotypes – I noticed that the advertisement for this contest suggests planning Stanford education for sons and wedding expenses for daughters. Do we really need this stereotyping even in the 21st century? Too many people, like in this advert, still believe that little boys ask for toy aeroplanes and girls ask for princess dolls. I think we should finally cross the barriers of aeroplanes and dolls and make them available for all children irrespective of their genders. I would like to gift my child the sensitivity to steer clear of gender stereotypes. Be it a girl or boy, I would want my child to believe that they have the right to both dolls/Stanford or aeroplanes/lavish wedding, whichever they choose to ask for.
2. Books as friends – I will be grateful to my parents forever for introducing me to the world of books quite early. Since then, my journey with books has been entertaining, educative and enlightening for years. Books have been my best friends in times when nobody else cared to stand by me. Fictional characters have been such big inspirations in life apart from biographies of great people. I want my children to grow up in a wonderland filled with books that would never fail them. I have built a sizable collection of books from all phases of my life and would like to pass it on to my next generation. I dream of building a library which would serve as a Neverland not only for my children but for every kid who wants to read beyond textbooks.
3. Awareness – The world is changing everyday, both for the better and worse. It is necessary to know about important issues and act accordingly. Children are like sponge and can be taught things easily for their benefit in future. If you raise them up with awareness on topics like environment, compassion towards animals, general hygiene, basic concepts of living in a society and other social aspects, it will make them prepared for hurdles in their adulthood and they would already know how to react. Both the issues of environmental conservation and personal hygiene are deteriorating each day. By the time our children grow up, they might not have enough rivers and natural sources for survival. I want to teach them the basic steps to water and energy conservation in the form of fun and easy tutorials to follow. I would like my children to grow up as responsible citizens of the world and do their part in raising awareness in others.
4. Individuality – I believe in individuality and freedom for each person. This is probably one of the rare traits I would like to pass on to my children as a gift. It is imperative on parents to respect a child’s individuality before they are exposed to the harshness of the outer world. Our older generations have often tried to impose decisions and ideas on us without realizing the need for individuality and personal freedom. I want to break free from the age old tradition and treating a child as an individual, respecting their concepts and steps to making important decisions in life. It doesn’t mean I won’t advise them on wrong decisions, but then, I wish to remember throughout my life that right and wrong are two sides of the same coin. What is right to me might be wrong to the next generation, hence they deserve the freedom to make decisions and live their own lives.
5. Health, hygiene and education treasure – These are the most important pillars of a child’s growth. I think imparting these to children needs more than money. You need the correct mindset to gift a package of the salient requirements of a child besides nutrition and care. With the ever increasing inflation in our country, proper education and health would actually be a gift to any child. With these comes personal and public hygiene that every child in this country needs to practice. As said correctly,
Child is the father of man.
Parents find a lot of things to ponder about while raising a child, most often the issues they might have neglected in their own lives. All of us want to provide our children the privileges that we could not have afforded in our childhood, education is probably the major one among them. I would make sure to save bits and build a treasure for my children which would ensure funds for whatever they want to achieve in life. I don’t believe in restricting children to academic knowledge only and would encourage them in talents they want to pursue.