Advertising
Advertising

Last Updated on February 27, 2018

Raising a Successful Child Is a Curse for Every Parent

Raising a Successful Child Is a Curse for Every Parent

It’s tough being a parent. Parents do their best to make sure the kids live healthy and happy lives. Despite the good intentions, sometimes parents miss the mark. One of the most common mistakes that parents make is that they hang their hopes for success on the kids without realizing it.

The well-known movie Little Miss Sunshine, is an example of this. The movie is built around a family’s journey to take their little girl Olive to a pageant. The family’s happiness seems to hinge upon Olive’s ability to perform in this pageant. That’s a lot of pressure for a seven-year old to bear. While Olive marches to the beat of her own drum, many of the other contestants’ parents are hyper-aggressive. They’ve set a standard that’s nearly impossible for a child to uphold.

    These kids’ happiness isn’t coming from a joy of competing. In many cases, though, their parents’ happiness comes from the success of their children. It’s wonderful to want our kids to be the best at whatever they do, but we must ensure that they’re doing these things for the right reasons.

    For the best of the kids?

      I don’t know a parent who doesn’t want their kid to have more opportunities and have a better quality of life than they had. Parents sign their kids up for classes, put together special outings, and demand that they have the best education. Parents want their kids to grow up to be the smartest, most artistic, most athletic, most compassionate adult that they can be.

      Advertising

      When parents get into the mindset of raising “winners”, they run into trouble. Where there are winners there are also “losers.” It’s one thing for a child to feel competitive, but when parents become competitive, it can take the fun out of any activity.

      For example, if someone says that kid A plays the piano more beautifully than kid B, kid B’s parents might decide that he needs to practice more. Kid B attends more intensive piano lessons for longer hours so that he can improve. Just to assure that his musical superiority is without question, kid B’s parents also get him violin lessons.

      When kid A’s parents host the coolest birthday party of the season, kid B’s parent’s try to outdo them. They add more entertainment and invite more children so that kid B can have the most friends. In reality, kids A and B probably don’t care about fancy parties. This is about their parents.

      The unspoken war between parents

        Parents can be cruel to one another. When a parent doesn’t push their children to be involved in many activities, other parents may judge them. They may say things like, “Why aren’t they nurturing their kid’s interests by getting them into more activities?” or “Why are their kids so quiet? It’s like they don’t know how to interact with others because they never do anything.”

        The people who are saying those judgmental things may be genuinely worried, but the criticism may also highlight their insecurities about parenting. In response to this judgement, parents start to care too much about what others think of their children. They may feel that how people view their kids is a reflection on them.

        Advertising

        The self-conscious parent judges themselves based on what people say about their kids. “She said my daughter lacks social skills. Is that my fault? Is it because I keep to myself so much?” We forget sometimes that kids have personalities all their own.

        The self-consciousness and judgement have nothing to do with kids’ happiness. This is only about parents feeling secure. It seems like the better a kid does, the more parents feel like they are doing the right things as parents. They place their value and self-worth as adults on the shoulders of their children.

        An endless chase to get ahead

          Growing up is hard enough without added pressure. Being a parent is already stressful without having impossible standards. Kids and parents suffer when they are locked into unrealistic expectations.

          Children are extremely sensitive and intuitive. They pick up on everything their parents do, and they genuinely want approval. If they place more value on pleasing their parents than on doing what they love, they’ll never be happy.

          When kids are forced to focus on their parents’ expecations, they don’t get the chance to think for themselves. It feels good to get attention and recognition when you are the best at something. Kids who can’t meet the standard will always feel unfulfilled and unhappy.

          Advertising

          Parents who only take pride in their kids for their victories—whether those are sports trophies, good grades, or other awards—are missing out on a huge opportunity. Instead of teaching a child not to be afraid of failure, they show kids that their worth is outside of themselves. Their self esteem is built off external validation.

          Of course this is bad for the kids, but think about what it does to the parents. They run themselves ragged trying to make sure that their kids are always ahead of others. Children miss out on a childhood, but parents also don’t get to experience the joys of raising a child.

          Set an example by self-focusing

          Parents are often taught to sacrifice everything to ensure that their kids have the best opportunities. There’s nothing wrong with making sacrifices, but parents must remember that they have an identity outside of their children.

          Parents who are hyper-focused on their child’s success are unintentionally modeling a need for external validation. Instead of showing kids how important it is to be yourself, they make kids’ self esteem dependent on what other people think.

          Nobody intends to teach a bad lesson. Luckily, kids can bounce back from this sort of pressure if parents recognize that they are behaving this way. Parents can teach kids what true happiness looks like by making time to do the things that they want to do. Model balance and stability for kids, and you’ll be amazed at the good that can come from it.

          Let them fall, and let yourself fall

          When parents relax, they learn to take failures in stride. They can take some of the pressure off themselves and their kids.

          Advertising

          We’re going to mess up and fail sometimes. We can’t learn unless we make mistakes. How great is it that kids can make mistakes in the safe environment of your home? They’ll be better at handling failure in adulthood if they haven’t spent their whole childhood being the best at everything. When children make mistakes, everyone learns too. Their mistakes can make you a better parent. You may have to help them problem-solve or learn a new skill to deal with the problem.

          For parents who’ve been living through their kids’ successes, changing this pattern can come as a real blow to the ego. Kids have to learn how to pick themselves up after falling down, and they have to learn that they won’t always be the best at everything.

          You might have been afraid to let them fail because you didn’t want them to be disappointed, but now you can teach them about resiliency. You can show them that they still have value–even if they fail. That inner strength will carry them through any challenges that life brings to them. It will teach them to pursue the things that they want rather than do what someone else wants them to do.

          You have the power to shape your child’s self-esteem and self-worth. As Mr. Rogers says,

          There’s no person in the whole world like you; and I like you just the way you are.

          The best thing that you can do for kids is to nurture their interests without losing sight of your own. Understand that they will make mistakes, and be there for them. Teach them what healthy competition looks like, but show them that they are more than the sum of external successes and failures.

          More by this author

          Anna Chui

          Anna is a communication expert and a life enthusiast. She's the editor of Lifehack and loves to write about love, life, and passion.

          27 Ways to Instantly Feel Better When You’re Down Are We Spending Too Little Time on Too Many People? How Self Doubt Keeps You Stuck and How to Overcome It 7 Signs of an Unhappy Relationship That Makes You Feel Stuck 53 Relationship Questions That Will Make Your Love Life Better

          Trending in Social Animal

          1 Learn the Different Types of Love (and Better Understand Your Partner) 2 How To Stop Insecure Attachment from Wreaking Havoc on Your Love Life 3 8 Powerful Reasons to Love Your Enemies 4 How to Homeschool in the 21st Century (For All Types of Parents & Kids) 5 5 Ways the Silent Treatment Is Really Damaging (And How to Deal with It)

          Read Next

          Advertising
          Advertising

          Published on November 7, 2018

          How to Homeschool in the 21st Century (For All Types of Parents & Kids)

          How to Homeschool in the 21st Century (For All Types of Parents & Kids)

          In 2016, it was estimated that 1.7 million children were being homeschooled in the U.S, roughly 3.3% of all school-aged children.[1] Although this may not sound like a big portion of the population, the growth rate of homeschooling has been 7 to15% per year for the last two decades.

          The burgeoning numbers are not a coincidence. There are tremendous benefits to homeschooling, including one-on-one teaching, adaptability to individual needs and learning styles, a safe learning environment, encouraging learning for knowledge rather than grades, and tailoring a curriculum to the child’s interests.

          Is homeschooling something that you have been considering for your family? With all of the tools and resources available for homeschoolers in the 21st century, it may be easier than you think.

          How to Homeschool (Getting Started)

          After thinking it through, you’ve decided that homeschooling is the right step for you and your family. Now what? Here are the first things you should do to get your homeschooling journey started on the right track.

          Figure Out the Laws

          Homeschooling is regulated by the state, not the federal government. The first step is to find the current and accurate legal requirements mandated by your state in order to educate your child legally.[2]

          The regulations can vary widely, from strict guidelines to no guidelines at all. However, don’t be overwhelmed by the legal jargon. There are many resources and local communities for homeschooling families that can help you figure out the logistics.

          Decide on an Approach

          Every child’s needs are different. This is your chance to choose the homeschooling style or combination of styles that best fits your child’s learning style and interests. A brief description of seven different homeschooling methods are listed below.

          Supplies/Resources

          Often times, purchasing a homeschooling curriculum is done too early in the planning process, resulting in buyer’s remorse.

          Advertising

          A curriculum is not always needed for homeschooling, and other types of free or less structured resources are readily available.

          Find a Community

          Getting connected with a community of homeschoolers is one of the most important parts of building a successful and thriving homeschool environment for your kids.

          Look for communities online for virtual support or a local group that you and your kids can interact with. Partnering with others fosters better socialization skills for the students and provides opportunities for field trips, classes, and outings that wouldn’t have otherwise been a part of the homeschooling experience.

          7 Different Homeschooling Methods

          1. School-At-Home

          Also known as Traditional homeschool, School-At-Home uses essentially the same curriculum as the local private or public school but at home.

          The lessons can be completed independently, but more commonly, they are administered by a parent or a teacher-facilitated online school.

          • Benefits: formal standards, wide selection of curricula, same pace as peers, short-term friendly
          • Drawbacks: expensive, inflexible, time consuming, parent can get easily burnt out
          • Resources: K12, Time4Learning, Abeka

          2. Classical

          One of the most popular homeschooling methods used, it borrows educational practices from Ancient Greece and Rome. Subject areas are studied chronologically so that students can understand the consequence of ideas over time.

          Socratic dialogue fosters effective discussions and debate to achieve beyond mere comprehension. There is often a strong emphasis on Great Books[3] as well as Greek and Latin.

          3. Unit Studies

          Rather than breaking up education into subjects, unit studies approach each topic as a whole, studying it from the perspective of each subject area.

          Advertising

          For example, a unit study about animals could include reading books about animals, learning about the classification of animals, figuring out which animals live on which continents, etc. This method is often used as a technique in other more comprehensive educational methodologies.

          • Benefits: promotes thinking about concepts as a whole, not monotonous or redundant, student-directed, bolsters weaker subject areas, beneficial for teaching multi-age students
          • Drawbacks: incomplete, knowledge gaps, curriculum-dependent
          • Resources: Unit Study, Unit Studies, Unit Studies Made Easy, Konos

          4. Charlotte Mason

          This Christian homeschooling style utilizes shorts periods of study (15-20 minute max for elementary, 45 minute max for high school), along with nature walks and history portfolios.

          Students are encouraged to practice observation, memorization, and narration often. With a focus on “living books” (stories with heroes, life lessons, socio-ethical implications), reading plays a big role in this student-paced teaching style.

          5. Montessori

          Maria Montessori developed this method through working with special needs children in the early 20th century.

          With a primary focus on the student setting the pace and indirect instruction from the teacher, this approach includes free movement, large unstructured time blocks (up to 3 hours), multi-grade classes, and individualized learning plans based on interests.

          6. Unschooling

          Unschooling is a learning model largely based on the work of John Holt.[4] The teaching style focuses mainly on the students’ interests, putting priority on experiential, activity-based, and learn as you go approaches.

          For basic skills such as reading, writing, and math, a systematic technique is employed, but testing and evaluations are typically not utilized. Teachers, in general, play more of a facilitator role.

          7. Eclectic/Relaxed

          As the most popular method of homeschool, eclectic homeschooling is child-directed, resourceful, and non-curriculum based.

          Advertising

          Parents can sample any combination of homeschooling methods and styles or resources. One growing sector of eclectic homeschooling combines part homeschooling with part traditional schooling.

          How to Facilitate Homeschooling with Technology

          One of the reasons homeschooling is more feasible than ever before is due to the accessibility of tools and resources to enhance the learning process.

          Email

          Email is a tool that has really stood the test of time. Invented in 1972, it is still used today as a primary means of communicating on the Internet.

          It is a great way to share assignments, links, and videos between parent and student.

          Google Drive/Calendar

          Google Drive offers a multitude of essential programs that can come in handy for homeschoolers, such as Docs, Sheets, Slides, and more.

          With its sharing capabilities, easy accessibility, and auto-save ability, it’s easier than ever to organize and complete assignments. It will improve students’ writing and typing skills, as well as eliminate the need for paper.

          Google Calendar is an excellent tool for tracking assignment due dates, planning field trips and activities, and developing time management skills.

          Ebooks

          Rather than invest in physical copies of books, ebooks are a wonderful option for saving money and space. There are plenty of places that offer a free or paid subscription to a wide selection of ebooks:

          Advertising

          E-Courses

          When a structured curriculum is necessary for teaching a certain topic, an e-course is the way to go.

          From watercolors to calculus, there are e-courses available about almost everything. Including different teaching styles that vary from the parents will encourage students to learn in different ways.

          The visual and auditory stimulation will also be beneficial in helping students understand and retain the concepts being taught.

          Some recommendations:

          Youtube

          Youtube is not just a platform for music videos and cats doing funny things. There are a number of Youtube channels that produce quality educational videos, free of charge.

          Creating a playlist of videos for various topics is a great way to supplement a homeschool education.

          Some recommendations:

          Final Thoughts

          Homeschooling in the current age looks much different than it did ten years ago. There are more options and more flexibility when it comes to educating kids at home.

          Don’t be overwhelmed by the idea of homeschooling your children if it could make a positive impact on your family.

          Featured photo credit: Hal Gatewood via unsplash.com

          Reference

          Read Next