It was so funny to see, whenever we had guests at home, we kids were made to perform various acrobatics in front of them. The guests were told that the kid sings well, dances well recite a poem well, is a wonder kid in math and can perform complex calculations in a sec., or had immense general knowledge. Sometimes paraded like artists in a circus.
Parents behaving like masters of ceremonies then started goading the kids to perform those feats in front of their guests. If they did perform to the applause of others, parents felt proud and the kids were rewarded well. If the kids fail to comply, they are labeled as shy or stubborn.
Sounds familiar? What are the reasons for parents to behave this way?
Given the current climate, perhaps it is time we started asking ourselves some probing questions. Do we place too much of a link between our children and our social standing?
Do a lot of us unintentionally associate our reputation with how well our kids perform?
Many of us worry so much about getting into a “good” school that it drives both our kids and us crazy. How can an excellent school or college be determined? Is it one whose culture, curriculum, or academic standards we find appealing, or is it one that is viewed as a “status symbol”?
Many of us want our kids to participate in sports. But once more, do we really need to care that our kid is having fun playing a game he likes? Or are we actively or subtly encouraging him to succeed so that we can highlight what a champion our kid is?
Every parent is pleased with how their kids performed. But is it necessary to pressure our kids into performing in front of guests, whether or not they feel comfortable doing so, by making them dance or recite a poem?
Parents naturally want their kids to behave well and have decent manners. But why do we become too aware of their actions, demand that they set aside their immaturity, and become flawless examples of restraint when we are around people?
The same irrational expectations apply when we forbid kids from playing in the sand, water, or rain out of concern that their clothes and shoes will get dirty, and that people would subsequently judge them. Some parents don’t even let their kids pick out their own casual clothes; instead, they always make sure they look “next, clean & smart” as if they were on display.
Is our child a showcase to be put on display in front of others as a declaration of our success?
Allow kids to be kids. Let nature take its course as it develops. The child’s holistic and natural development should be of more importance than how they appear to others.
By treating children as objects for display, we only inflict undue stress on their fragile psyches.
If you wish to be that sensitive parent who wants to learn ways to relate effectively with your child? Let’s dialogue 👇🏽