In today’s fast paced world we as parents often overload our children with a myriad of activities in order to help them find success. As single parents, we may not be able to keep our children in as many of these activities as our married counterparts, but we too often push our children a little too hard to be successful. We feel as if we have to go above and beyond to prove to the world that we are still good parents, and at times we get a little carried away.
Sometimes as parents I think we need to re-evaluate our definition of success. Is it getting straight A’s? Getting into Harvard or Yale? Becoming a doctor or a lawyer? Having a fancy car and a nice house? Or is it having good decision making skills? Having self-confidence? Or finding happiness? Our kids don’t have to have a doctorate to be successful. In fact, they don’t even have to have good grades! While I would love for Logan to get into Harvard or Yale, I am much more concerned with his ability to find happiness in his life. Of course, we want our kids to have as many opportunities for success as we can possibly give them, but they need to be the ones making those decisions. Don’t overschedule them. They don’t get the opportunity to be children for very long. Let them enjoy being little.
That’s not to say that you shouldn’t encourage them to do well in school and get good grades. Some kids need a little extra push when it comes to getting their work done, and that is ok. However, don’t scrutinize them for getting a B in chemistry. If they did their best, make sure you tell them how proud you are of them! Success comes in many forms. Perhaps, the most important one being happiness. If that means your child grows up to be a doctor or a lawyer, then great, just make sure they are happy doing it! If that means they are happy being a janitor for the rest of their lives, then that is ok too!