When I talk to parents about their children, they naturally talk about what they do. Moms and dads want their children to be happy and successful in life. Some jam-pack their kid’s schedules with all sorts of activities including sports, dance, foreign language and music. All this makes me wonder if they have time to breathe or remember their names.
Honestly, do you believe children are having fun or even feel good about themselves when parents map out their whole life? Parents have a competitive spirit that sometimes blinds them. They may think to themselves “It’s a dog-eat-dog world out there and, by golly, I don’t want my son or daughter to fall behind in the race (to be the best, brightest, fastest, smartest, etc.)”. Fun is sacrificed for winning, no matter what the cost is.
Find your child’s strengths, talents, abilities are and gear activities towards them. Let them choose what they want to do and find a way to make it happen. Avoid putting them into an activity because you think it is good for them or because you’re trying to live a personal dream through your son or daughter.
Certainly, kids need structure in their lives. Their lives should have meaning and purpose. Children look to their parents for guidance, direction, and encouragement. They also need time to simply play, explore, create in their own way without adult intervention. Kids not only need to know what to think but also how to think. They need to learn life skills such as empathy, problem-solving, strategizing, and determination.