In a recent group interview actor Ranveer Singh has been reported by TOI to say that he does not like “tags”. In his case he was being tagged as a flirt –which he has no issue with but he has a problem with being tagged or typecast because that then limits a person into a box.
Ranveer Singh is right –absolutely point on. This is true especially when dealing with children. We often box our children with tags such as “friendly” “shy” “smart” “talkative” “sports-type” “nerdy” and so on and so forth. It could be because we are also trying to know our children and their interests. But this does not elude the fact that when we typecast our children with certain adjectives, they tend to behave like that.
Call a child “shy” and he will most likely feel and behave shy in all situations-because his young mind thinks that’s what he is and he will behave like that. He does not see wrong or right in the statement. He just thinks that’s what is expected of him. So the parent is putting a tag of “shy” on the kid while trying to get him to be outgoing. Needless to say, it’s a plan that is sure to fail.
When you label your child, chances are you will be repeating the label over and over. For example, the kid keeps hearing himself be called a ‘rebel’ and soon he just accepts it, and starts behaving like that. The kid’s mind is like a sponge-you might be playing with his identity, depending on what you call him. The young mind is still exploring the world and trying to find his place-and then you as an adult are overshadowing his mind with your words and labels-he starts to see himself from the eyes of someone else.
While the bad labels have an undesirable effect –the good tags help the kid. Good labels can often help an already worse situation. For example, for years together you have called your child dumb and you have seen it has not helped him at all. It will be a good idea to try something else. Try giving him a label like hardworking and see the charm of the label work. Its called a “virtuous circle” Don’t start with the final step start with the first step.
A parent should strive to create a virtuous circle instead of a vicious circle in their kid’s lives-but more importantly, the parent’s job should be to gently guide the kids in a free environment –to help the young untarnished minds reach the full potential by not putting them in a box by labeling them.