Balanced Parenthood

From ‘Parenting under Stress’

Imagine this scenario:

You notice that your son is good at basketball, or maybe he is good at drawing, or interested in science. What would you do?

You would be so flattered and happy, ‘google’ courses and tutors to nurture your son’s interest or skill, and in your mind you think of Shaquille O’Neil, Picasso, or Einstein. Your son protests: “I do not need a tutor!  I just want to play to have fun!”  But you insist on giving him the right training.  You plan everything from registration to scheduling to transportation and supervising then rewarding or consequencing. You think that what you are doing is motivating him but he loses interest and stops doing what he was interested in altogether. You have good intentions and sacrifice your time and energy to make sure your child has the best life. You want him to be happy, healthy, and successful, but by planning his free time you hijack your child’s life and decide for him. You pressure him in school and also after school.

Pushing your children has its advantages when done right. It gives the child a sense of achievement and recognition, builds stamina and hard work ethics, trains children to push and discipline themselves, and shows them that you care. All these benefits are nothing if the child is not interested in the activity you want him to do.  It becomes dangerous when children are pushed harder at an early age before they settle in personality and character.

Parenting is one of the most difficult jobs in the world.  Yes, you love your child, but love is not enough to child rearing. There is a need for a lot more such as patience, energy and understanding. In parenting, there are difficult questions to answer and situations to respond to. So do you have the patience, energy and understanding? You may say ‘yes’ but reality is different. Because you think too much and are under stress, you snap easily, do not have the needed energy to pay attention to what is happening in your child’s life, and you forget all about child development theories.

A very critical question in parenting rises: How much should I push my child to achieve?  Where do parents draw the line?

There is a fine line to balanced parenthood:  If children are pushed too much, they may rebel or withdraw, and not achieve success, satisfaction, and happiness.  If they are not pushed enough they may be unmotivated and underachieve.  You shelter your children from the realities of the world and keep them under your wings, or encourage them to be independent and take risks to get the best life.  When you do the right thing you raise children who are confident and motivated. A mother bird knows the right time to let its baby bird fly on its own. Any earlier, the baby bird is unprepared to fly and will fall to the ground. Any later, the baby bird would resist leaving the nest.

 

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