Children need to be happy, not the best – Los niños necesitan ser felices, no ser los mejores
We live in an extremely competitive society in which nothing is ever enough, where we feel that if we don’t get our act together; we will be left behind, swept away by the new advances.
So,unsurprisingly, in the last few decades many parents have adopted a type of child-rearing that is based on hyper-parenting. Parents who want their children to be prepared for life, not in the broadest sense of the word but rather the most limited: they want their children to have the knowledge and skills necessary to get a good profession and a good job to earn enough for their needs.
These parents have set a goal: they want their children to be the best. To achieve this, they enrol them in diverseextracurricular activities, paving the way for them to implausible limits and of course, pushing them towards success at any cost. And the worst of all is that they think they are doing it for “their own good”.
The main problem with this type of child-rearing is that it puts unnecessary pressure on the children; pressure that ends up snatching awaytheir childhood and it produces adults who are emotionally worn out.
The dangers of pushing children towards success
Under pressure, the majority of children are obedient and they might even get the results that their parents want from them but, in the long run, this only manages to limit their autonomous thinking and the skills that can help them really be successful. If we don’t give them the space and the freedom to find their own way because we overwhelm them with all our expectations, childrencan´t make their own decisions, experiment and develop their identity.
That is why, there are serious risks involved in trying to make children the best:
– It creates unnecessary pressure that snatches their childhood away from them. Childhood is a time of learning, but it is also a time of happiness and having fun. Learning must be fun for children, they have to make mistakes, waste time lost in their imagination and spend time with other children. Hoping that the children are “the best” in a certain area, having too high expectations of them, will only make them double under the weight of all that pressure, which they really don’t need. This type of child-rearing snatches their childhood away from them.
– It leads to the loss of intrinsic motivation and pleasure. When parents focus more on the results than the effort made, the child will lose their intrinsic motivation because they are made to believe that the result is more important than the effort they put in to actually get it. This therefore increases the likelihood of cheating at school, for example, because what they learn isn’t as important as the grade they get at the end. In turn, as they have to focus on the results, they lose interest on the way, and they stop enjoying it.
– It plants the fear of failure seed. The fear of failure is one of the most limiting feelings we can have. And this feeling is closely linked to our concept of success. Therefore, pushing children from an early age towards success only ends up planting the fear of failure in them. Consequently, it is quite likely that these children do not become independent, enterprising adults, as their parents want them to be, but rather people who prefer to play it safe and accept mediocrityonly because they are scared of failing.
– It causes a loss of self-esteem. Many of the most successful people, professionally speaking, are insecure. In fact, many supermodels, for example, admit that they think they are ugly or fat, when in reality they are icons of beauty. This happens because the level of perfectionism that they have always beensubject to makes them think that nothing is ever enough and that the slightest mistakewill be enough for others to scorn them. Children grow up with this idea, which turns them into insecure adults, with a low self-esteem; they aren’t good enough to be loved. As a result of this, they are always worried about what everyone else thinks of them.
What must a child really know?
Children don’t need to be the best;they just need to be happy. That is why;you just have to make sure that your child knows:
– They are loved, unconditionally and always, regardless of the mistakes they make.
– They are safe, that you will protect them and support them whenever you can.
– They can be silly, waste time dreaming and playing with their friends.
– They can choose to do what they like doing the most and dedicate their time to this, whatever it is. They can spend their free time making daisy chains or drawing cats with six legs if that is what they want to do, instead of practising phonetics or calculus.
– They are very special and marvellous, just like many other people in the world.
– They deserve to be respected and they must respect the rights of others.
And what shouldn’t parents forget?
It is also essential that parents know:
– That each child learns at their own pace, and that they mustn’t confuse stimulation that develops with pressure that is oppressive.
– The most influential factor when it comes to children’s academic performance is parents reading to their children, spending time with them every evening to nurture this passion for reading together, and not relying on expensive schools or the high tech games.
– The child who gets the best grades is almost never the happiest child because happiness cannot be measured in these terms.
– Children don’t need more games but rather a simpler and carefree life, along with more time with their parents.
– Children need their freedom to explore everything and decide for themselves what they like and what makes them happy.
Source – Fuente: http://www.rinconpsicologia.com
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