Life can be saved ….Seeking Counsellor’s help is not a shame…

by Harmeet Kaur

Last week a dear friend lost her niece. The young girl committed suicide. The young girl from Hyderabad was undergoing counselling treatment for almost a year but the mother did not think that the problem was so serious. The father was not even informed that his own child was taking counselling sessions. Will this father ever recover from this shock?

My friend in a state of shock asked me why can we proudly say that someone survived from depression or anxiety  because the problem was diagnosed timely and treatment was given and the whole family was involved. For a cancer survivor, friends and relatives also come together to give emotional support during the whole process of treatment. If the same acceptance is  given to patients undergoing counselling treatment, change can be faster and long lasting.

May the humble soul rest in peace.Amen



Interest, Ability & Aptitude

by Radhika Kumar

 “The only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. Don’t settle.”  Steve Jobs

Our happiness depends on the kind of job we do and our liking towards it. No matter where we are in our career, it would directly impact our sense of being and our score on the happiness index. Therefore, it becomes imperative to be a product of our decisions and not our circumstances and make career choices wisely.

Career decisions should be primarily based on three important aspects.

  1. Interest
  2. Ability
  3. Aptitude

A clear understanding of these aspects helps students to gain an insight to their abilities and also acknowledge their limitations or restrictions. As every individual has its own set of strengths and limitations, it is important to ensure that students are not defined by their limitation, but instead encouraged to embrace and celebrate their strengths leading to a more positive, successful, appropriate, well informed and realistic career decisions.

Interests: Interest is the single most vital factor which helps to keep commitment and motivation towards the work intact. If you are interested in something, you will definitely work harder and it will also keep you engaged in a career over a long haul.

Research on the development of talent has long demonstrated that interests provide a direction to the development of one’s habits and activities.

Research using the Ball Aptitude Battery has shown that although aptitude and interest are only minimally related to one another, both are closely related to the sorts of skills that individuals develop and the activities and jobs that people choose. A person can have wonderful aptitude, appropriate for all sorts of talent fields, but without sufficient interest, individuals will not devote the time and effort required to build skills on their foundations. It is important to have adequate information about one’s aptitudes and interests prior to making major investments of time, effort, and resources toward the development of talent in any field.

Ability:Ability is something one is naturally good at. When we work within our ability, we often find our self in our comfort zone. When our ability to do a task is the driving force then we tend to lose track of time. Abilities set us apart and they help us outshine. There are different types of abilities – intellectual and physical. A high ability job fit is necessary for an improved job performance.

Aptitude: Research study has shown that a person’s aptitudes stabilize at around age fourteen, and remain so for the rest of his or her life.  An insight to our natural strength makes career planning more precise and effective. Identifying our natural strength is the key to making right career choices. An aptitude test can give broad indicative directions to a person about paths in which they could potentially succeed.

An amalgamation of interest, ability and aptitude make people who they are. We have living examples of people who do phenomenally well for themselves because they understood where their aptitude lies. Only interest in a particular job is not enough, one should have the required aptitude also.


Papa Don’t Preach

by Radhika Kumar

“What have you thought” he asked calmly with an unmistakable edge of disapproval because he knew I had something else in my mind.  I had my eyes fixated on the plate, I wanted to tell him loud and clear that I do not want a career which will transform me into automation but it so happened that my cocksure confidence evaporated in front of Papa. I couldn’t mutter the courage to tell him that 90 percent in Accountancy Class XII Boards will not decide my future. For my family pursuing Chartered Accountancy was more like a charted terrain, it seemed like the most sensible career choice to make. My father was a practicing CA from past 35 years and has three offices in Delhi/NCR. He always wanted his three children to take up the profession with gusto. My elder brother and sister were already caught up in the whirlpool and they hardly had a choice and my good percentage was spoiling my case too. A strange all knowing smirk covered his face when he said “A professional degree is a must to survive in this country. With a professional degree like CA, you would secure your future and then you can do whatever you want.”

I wish i could add my own two bits with ease but the glint of disapproval on his face was stopping me to say what i wanted to “I didn’t want to get into the circus of uncertainty by becoming a CA, i don’t like numbers. I’m not as diligent and above all i want to study human psychology”

My interest in Psychology grew when I first read Introduction to Psychology by Morgan and King which talked about every aspect of life. Who we are now, how we will be in the future, how we interact with family, friends, and strangers; left brain and the right brain etc. I wanted to study the mind, the human nature and different connotations to it.

It was impossible to convince a predetermined mind. I was oscillating madly between panic and pride. Pride because i secured a good percentage and panic because that percentage is not letting me do whatever i wanted to.

Though my parents have always been very encouraging and supportive but somehow i felt that in terms of deciding my career they didn’t want to support my choice rather they wanted to dominate theirs. My story may seem like a story of every other kid who encountered the devilish dilemma. As a parent and counselor i now understand that we always want the best for our offspring and it’s difficult to let go and let them make important decisions of their life on their own but the fact of the matter is that they have grown up and you as a parent have played a significant role in shaping their personality and confidence. If they stand up for what they want is because of the confidence that you instilled in them.

I feel career choices for children become less stressful if parents sooth the anxiety of their child’s career. Let your daughter/son feel free to explore a greater variety of professions, choosing one based on their own preferences rather than those of their parents.

Choosing a career is an extremely important decision that impacts an individual‘s entire future. It is important to stay positive otherwise it can become a stressful time for all involved. Parents unwittingly can make the future look terrifying. They have a major impact on our life decisions; they influence the level of education or training, our knowledge about work and different occupations and also our beliefs and attitudes. As children and as adolescent we absorb our parents influence subconsciously and it impacts our entire life graph. Career choices, new ideas should be encouraged or else it shut down the whole exploration process for the child. It is important for them to recognise that in the entire life journey for their children they simply have to act like facilitators who encourage children to make independent choices. Be involved, but do not try to control them and at the same time advise them the right path according to you but do not decide for them. Let them make their own choices, if they will falter, let them learn something new.

Parents should play a proactive role, a role of a good conversationalist who could help in a meaningful dialogue and help children understand the specifics of the career so that your ward can take informed decisions. The most effective counter argument, or a talk and dialogue is based on information, facts and figures. Let your daughter/son know that to convince them or for that matter to convince you for the right career choice there would be no arrow in the dark.

It is the parent’s duty to present all the variables to their children, have a frank discussion about financial assets and investments, and explore and understand the child’s interest and strengths. Sufficient time should be invested in structured discussions.Problem occurs when parents react and not respond. Instead of a meaningful dialogue, they try to prove their point and get into a useless argument. There is a pressing need to increase and encourage good conversations.

The definition of mainstream career choices has broadened remarkably in past 10 years. The need of the hour is to explore the choices before making a decision and it is important to make an informed decision. As a parent one can possibly introduce your son/daughter to someone currently doing the course/working in the career area. It’s important that you have done your spade work and made a list of proposed courses; and find out if your son/daughter has researched each course thoroughly. It’s imperative that you have a backup plan if the predicted results do not happen, you should have a Plan B to fall back on. Going in a planned way will help parents decide careers better and would help children make wise choices.

Happy Parenting!

Help Your Child Explore Inside

by Harmeet Kaur

Ande comes back from school at 3.30pm. She has to then get ready to attend her musis class. Luckily, the master comes home to teach. She has her music classes on Monday and Wednesday. She has to attend gymnastic classes on Tuesday and Thursday. She has her art classes on Friday and Saturday. Once she is over with her classes, it is almost 5.30pm. She would have her milk and go out and play with her friends. By the time, she comes back home it is already 7pm. She still has to complete her homework.  She is in 5th grade. She enjoys studying but the long day in school and the different classes and play time takes away most of her energy. So, she tries to finish her home work without much effort on learning. She also loves watching television and playing on the ipad.

When would Ande get time to find out what she really enjoys. Is it music, art, sports or anything else. She does not get time to do nothing and explore her inner self. Actually, Ande loves to watch trees, flowers, the Sun and the Moon. But, When???

My Child Does Not Like to Study…….

by Harmeet Kaur

My Child does not like to study………Is my child dumb?

A young farmer had been sowing seeds year after year. But, his efforts were not giving good results. The yield would be of average quality. This continued for 4 years and the farmer thought to seek advise of an experienced farmer. He went to meet the village oldest and rich farmer. The old farmer asked him what soil was he using, when would he water the crops, what pesticide was he using, was there ample sunlight, what was the quality of manure was he using and did he ever expressed love to his crops?

Answers to all these questions revealed that the young farmer was not planning the right time to sow the seeds, he was not preparing the soil before sowing the seeds, sometimes he used to over water the crops and at times he used forget to water his crops and for him the crop was just a means to earn his living.

In the same way, childhood is the time to give the appropriate guidance, proper planning of the study time, play time, resting time and fun time. Few children learn faster by observation, few learn faster by watching videos and few children have to actually do the experiment to learn faster. Each child has equal capability of learning. Find out which style of learning is most appropriate for your child.

Happy Parenting!

Harmeet Kaur is an educationist, trainer, consultant, entrepreneur and a happy parent of two teenage kids.


Let Your kid(s) Dirty Their Hands

by Harmeet Kaur

A child has a natural and fearless instinct to explore. The child wants to explore sand, insects, materials and colors. Well, except for sand I have always allowed my children to dirty their hands. They have played with colors all the time and never got tired. And, all the materials and colors have, always been within their approach. Infact, when my younger one was only 2 years old he would love to work with colors and materials. So, I kept all the materials and colors at the bottom of the study table so that my son was independent in taking things out and putting them back in the place. And, I also always gave my children the freedom to use the comforts that the corners and center of the house would provide. The house belongs to children and they know how to take care of it. So, give your kid’s the freedom to dirty their hands with colors and material in the young age that will help them to explore themselves and understand the use and misuse of things at the right age.

Happy Parenting!

Harmeet Kaur is an educationist, trainer, consultant, entrepreneur and a happy parent of two teenage kids.

How many times to say ‘Yes’ to my child?

by Harmeet Kaur

Well, the number of times you want your child to say ‘Yes’ to your demands! This is like a movie story where the hero asks 9 questions for which the heroine gives 9 yes’s and the tenth question is ‘do you love me?’ and the heroine unknowingly says ‘yes’.

But our movie with our children does not want all the movie drama and is also little longer one measurable in years. The whole idea to say ‘Yes’ to our children is to gain their confidence and trust. We want them to come to back to us every time they are in doubt and do not seek for any external support. It becomes our duty as parents to draw down the boundary of Yes’s and keep few ‘no’ balls inside to play with.

Happy Parenting!

Harmeet Kaur is an educationist, trainer, consultant, entrepreneur and a happy parent of two teenage kids.