After-school chess club, robotics class, gymnastics, tutoring, and violin: Sound like your child’s weekly calendar? For many parents, the answer is yes. But in the quest to enrich kids’ lives, parents may be unwittingly cheating children out of opportunities for growth.
Teaching our kids to have goals, do their best, and leverage personal momentum to succeed are all good ideas. However, there is a difference between supporting a child’s efforts to reach their goals versus taking control of the results we deem the best possible outcomes for our kids. Parents who habitually steamroll their kids, rob them of personal experience on multiple levels. When parents over-step, kids can lose their point of view; their self-esteem may go down; they may feel confused, anxious, or depressed; and they may focus too much on pleasing their parents instead of honoring their own desires.
School mornings are busy, but an experienced parent knows the real rush is after school when evenings are packed with extracurricular activities. One child has Scouts, another has piano lessons, and two have soccer practice on opposite sides of town. As a mom of six, I have survived busy weeks full of extracurricular activities and a calendar that can only be described as ‘complicated.’
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