Thursday, March 26, 2009

Not meeting expectations

A teacher recently told me about a 10-year-old boy’s dad who spoke to him about what a huge disappointment his son was turning out to be. While his son was getting top scores in this teacher's class, the dad did not see his son demonstrating the type of persistence he expected.

For example, he bought his son a wonderful Lego Mindstorm building set and his son played with it for 15 minutes and then walked away. How would his son ever succeed in life if he couldn’t stick with something so interesting more than a few minutes? The dad explained that if he had been given that toy as a child, he would have spent many hours over many days carefully creating all sorts of structures.

His son was clearly different in a number of ways from his dad. Although the teacher pointed out again how well his son was doing at school, the dad dismissed it saying he feared his son would never succeed in life given his lack of persistence.

It can sometimes be very hard for parents to appreciate the child before them when that child does not match their expectations. Our children are a gift. Getting wrapped up in feeling disappointed for what they are not causes us to miss the awesome child standing before us.

Parental disapproval is a heavy weight for any child’s shoulders. Children whose parents support them in following their own dreams and passions are truly fortunate.
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