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[Global Conversations] Parent's Dreams vs. Children's Dreams

Sometimes parents dreams for their children prevent them from hearing about what their children dream for themselves.

Photo of Bihar Community India [Global Conversations]
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This story was submitted by mobile phone from India as part of the Amplify program's Global Conversations project, an effort to extend the reach of our Zero to Five challenge to communities without reliable access to the internet.

The content was submitted in response a radio program asking parents about their dreams for their children's future. It was originally recorded in Hindi and then translated into English and posted by local volunteers. 

Learn more:  ideo.pn/globalconversations 


Do parents encourage their children to follow their own dreams?

Pooja Kumari from Samastipur, Bihar shared her thoughts on the influence of parents on the careers of their children: 

In villages, I have seen that most parents dream that their children will become doctors or engineers. As a result, achieving this goal becomes the focus of a child's entire life. The child is not given a chance to think about what they would like to become or make choices for their future. Parents do not get to know what their children dream of doing or what they expect from their parents or education. But parents should check in with their children when they are home and studying after school. They should see how their children are doing and help them if they are making mistakes.  

All parents want their children to be successful - but what if their children have different ideas than their parents about what that means? How can parents balance their dreams for their children with the dreams children have for themselves?   

We welcome comments from the OpenIDEO community below. Some of the comments below may be translated, recorded and shared with the person who submitted this story.

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Photo of An Old Friend

Rural Bihar is still a very traditional society where social values are all-encompassing and dominate individual preferences. Although the means of attaining culturally-valued goals have modernized somewhat, the supporting values remain as traditional as ever. I believe what we need is to find a way to convey to parents to respect and encourage healthy levels of individuality in their children.

Photo of Andrew Peterson

I think this question address a question that the Davidson Design Fellows have been talking about a lot, which is, "what does it mean to thrive," because our definition of "thriving" is different from what different communities may see as thriving. It is important that we as innovators realize that parents and the children in these communities have their own expectations and dreams, and that it is our job to help them achieve success in their own lives, rather than what we expect them to do.
I think Jason was talking about something similar to your post, if you want to check it out!
https://openideo.com/challenge/zero-to-five/research/grandma-vs-the-doctor-traditional-and-new-knowledge-in-conflict

Photo of Chioma Ume

Andrew - you're right, this is a great question! We know that thriving/success can take many forms and it's important to have a broad idea of what that looks like. One of our missions is 'Successful adults' and it would be awesome if some of the Davidson Design Fellows could interview some successful adults to share those stories with our community. You'll find a link to the toolkit in the box on the Research home page.

You might also find this post interesting, it's about some of the successful adults we met on our research trip in Tanzania: https://openideo.com/challenge/zero-to-five/research/role-models-and-goal-setting-a-recipe-for-success and stay tuned to our [Global Conversations] - we'll be asking people in India questions to fill in some of our understanding about what it is to 'thrive'.