My friend and I were talking about a career decision he would have to make soon.
He had an excellent offer to work abroad. It was really tempting. He was keen. His wife was in two minds. His parents left it to him.
He was unable to decide.
So he came over and we were discussing the pros and cons.
We got nowhere, and ended up going round and round.
“What do your kids say?” I asked casually.
“No idea. I haven’t asked them.”
“What if you do?”
“My daughter will have no issues either way; my 10 year old son may have his views.”
He spoke to his son and here is the verbatim of his discussion.
“Krish, I want to talk to you.”
“I am OK dad. My home work is all done.”
“No no. This is about my home work Krish. I want to talk to you.”
“OK Dad. “
“Some people want me to join their company in America. It looks good but I can’t make up my mind, Krish. What do I do?”
“Don’t know Dad.”
“What will you do if you are in my position?”
“Hmmm, I guess I will do what will make me happy.”
“What will make you happy?”
“I don’t know. Different things, at different times.”
“How is that?”
“Like in school, what will me happy is nice teachers. While playing it will be fun with friends.”
“What about home?”
“I like it when you ask me about what I think.”
“What do you think?” my friend asked me.
“I think you have got enough answers there.” I said.
“How is that?”
“ What kind of company is making you this offer? Is it a place where you can learn & grow? Is it a place where the culture is welcoming and where you can be happy? Will you be respected there? Will you feel at home there?”
“May be you should first decide what will make you happy, what is important for you. Once you have that, check this company against those criteria.”
“Makes sense. How did you think of this?”
“I didn’t. It is your son. You should thank him, for helping us with clarity.”
The ability to put yourself in your kids’ shoes will be an asset for every parent. It will not only help you in connecting with the kid, but also provide new perspectives to any issue.