|Baby, you're a firework|
There is value in all that you do.
I think this is something that we often forget about ourselves and others. No matter what your job or talents may be, they are important.
Unfortunately, I sometimes question whether or not we are teaching our children to value themselves. Often I see parents trying to fit their children into a particular role without regard to their personal gifts and interests. In doing so, parents tend to over-inflate a child’s talent in a particular field in an effort to “boost” his or her self-esteem.
People, it’s OK if your child does not sing as well as another child. It’s OK if your child is not the leading scorer on the football team, or basketball team, or baseball team, etc. It’s OK if your child is not valedictorian. It’s OK if your kid struggles with math or science or writing or whatever.
What does your child excel at? What does he enjoy? If he could spend all his free time doing something, what would that activity be? All of us have the same amount of time in a day. When you figure out what your child really likes, you are able to use your time more wisely, focusing on helping your child hone his skills in the area that he chooses. And, as an added bonus, your kid will probably complain a lot less. Because he’s doing what he enjoys.
Kids are not stupid. If they are not good at something, they know it. By encouraging them to continue with an activity that they do not possess any aptitude for, you are just setting them up for failure in the long run. And you also devalue the talents of those who are more qualified for that activity. Instead of being jealous or resentful of those kids, remove yourself – and your child – from the situation by finding something he or she is gifted at and focus on that.
In the real world, not everyone is going to be a brain surgeon. And, really, do we want them to be? Do you want to go to a doctor who only received a passing grade in chemistry because his teacher didn’t want to damage his self-esteem? Do you want an accountant who can’t add or subtract to do your taxes? Should an NFL team recruit – and pay - a receiver who can’t really catch? I know these things sound ridiculous, but that is what we are doing with our kids when we allow them to continue with activities they are not qualified to participate in. Sometimes it’s OK to quit something.
Do your kids a favor: help them discover what they like and are good at, and then create opportunities for them to explore that talent. Support them in what they like, and expose them to others who have similar interests and talents. Teach them to value what their personal gifts are so that they are able to realize their full potential in life.
And then when you need to see that brain surgeon, you will know you are seeing the very best there is.
What are some of your talents? Have you ever participated in an activity you felt you were unqualified for? How did that make you feel?
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