Do You Allow Your Children to Fail?
These days our children’s lives read like a Hollywood movie. People are trying to script their children’s lives. In some cases - they are not allowed to fail. It starts young, if they are sports minded, they have to grow up to be the next Tiger Woods. If they are smart, they are pushed to be a rocket scientist or similar.
Are you Reliving Your Life Through Your Kids?
To some parents - their children are an extension of their own success. To others - they use a child's success to "one - up" eachother. Conversely, a missed goal at a game (by your child) makes us (parents) look bad. At a recent Lacrosse game I attended for my daughter - one parent chastized their child from the grand stands. I'm almost positive it not only demotivated and embarrased their child - but probably affected the entire team (and made that parent look a bit _______ fill in the word).
We want the absolute best for our children. We want them to strive to be good, if not "the best", or perfect. "Striving" is the goal. Keep working at it... that's all we can ask for as parents. Does perfection exist? I think we can agree that perfection, if it exists is a pretty rare occurrence. We get caught up in what we see, what we hear, what we feel, and the not-so-subtle expectations. Other people’s opinions, thoughts, and societal perceptions influence us because of our insecurities, our lack of security and self-confidence.
What Do Our Failures Teach Us?
Children should not be an accessory or a fashion statement. They are a valuable and irreplaceable. Allowing your children to fail early and often, allows them to learn. You learn more from failure, not success. But the protectionism runs rampant. Today, we give away Participation Trophies, so that no one gets their feelings hurt.
How does your unrealistic expectations affect your children - years down the road, when they realize that they aren’t perfect, they can't get into the college they want, or land the job they were trying for? And now - for the first time... they begin to realize that the world IS out to get them. Now what?
The prescription is to allow your kids to be kids. Let them fall off their bike, not make the team, get picked last in gym class. These are character building moments. Let them find their drive, inspiration and their path in life. Coach, counsel and guide. Let them figure it out on their own and come to you for suggestions on how to get better. Don’t try and relive your life through your kids.
What say you? Looking forward to hearing your comments!