We all want the best for our children. We want them to have whatever it was that we didn't have. We want them to be healthy and happy and smart. At some point though, we seem to have crossed a line. Our desires for our children have become obsessive and unreasonable.
In a recent conversation, one mother I know said that she insists that her two girls are at least one year ahead in their studies at all time. They do the schoolwork and homework that's required for their current grade and then she drills them on next year's material. She questioned how parent's can say to their children "Well, as long as you did your best, that's all we can ask." "Their best?" she said incredulously, "an A is their best...there is no other best."
These children are in third grade. Straight A's might not be so easy a feat as they get older and school gets harder. What then? Therapy, that's what. I've seen grade school children who are stressed and anxious to the point of being nearly suicidal because of the pressure to live up to their parent's expectations. What are we doing to our children?
Encouraging a child to do well in school is a good thing. Requiring that they excel in everything at all costs is quite another. What happened to wanting our kids to be happy and to enjoy their lives? Is there no place for this? One thing is for sure...between school and homework and lessons, there is less and less time for fun or play.
Free play can be a wonderful outlet for a child, a way for him to explore and learn about his world and to (Read more...)