We sometimes underestimate our kids. My 9-year old son, Atharva came to me and asked for the tool kit. He has the habit to make experiment mechanics on his toy cars. He also makes something hybrid instruments, designs from existing toys and broken material. His room is full of material which I would have thrown.
“What will you do with this, another experiment? Ok. जे करायचे ते कर, पणपसारा मांडायचा नाही. (do whatsoever you want to do but don’t mess up)”His mom
“I want it for fixing the lock of balcony door. It got jammed.” He replied.
“How will you repair the lock?” I asked “Let me do that” He fully ignored me and grabbed the toolkit from me.
He took the toolkit, adjusted the screwdriver, and unscrewed the lock from the door. He got the spring which was malfunctioned. He observed the whole lock and tried to fix it.
“Give it to me. I will fix for you.” I just took it from him.
I tried it unsuccessfully. He was trying to guide me through the whole process. But I could not do it.
He grabbed the kit once again angrily and fixed the spring at appropriate place, fixed the lock on door successfully.
“See you were underrating the kid. He did that.” Mom
“I know. There is always logic in mechanics. You have to place appropriate component at appropriate place and try.” He replied.
“And second thing, you should not underestimate him anymore.” My wife
“I am sorry, I failed to understand you.” I raised my hands.
This is a typical example, how we deal with children at home and juniors/subordinates at office. Atharva has taken an initiative to fix the lock. Then he, himself fixed it. He was not expecting any help from me. He expected only the availability of tool. He knew that he would fix the problem. I would have just observed him and offer him support when he needed.
In corporate environment, typical managers ask the people to take initiative and then they have reservations on their capabilities.
I learned a lesson. Don’t undermine the capabilities of the people, neither of your kids nor of junior. Second if they come with some initiatives and solutions, trust on their capabilities and offer support only when they needed. Observe their performance what they are doing. I could not fix the problem. Imagine if you step in the job your junior doing and you end up by not resolving the issue.