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Friday, April 22, 2011

Raising a well-rounded child...

I participated in a survey recently from a mom site regarding children and education.  Some of the questions were similar to (not verbatim), What's more important- that your child have a good education or be socially capable?  Would you do anything to help your child succeed?
I think that most parents want BOTH for their child (though that wasn't an exact option on the survey).  And really they kind of go hand in hand- if you teach your child to have good social skills, then that can lead to success in life.  Every person should strive to be well rounded... I don't think an extreme in either direction is ideal.  And I think most parents would do everything they could to help their child... helping with homework, utilizing a company such as StudyPoint for in-home tutoring options when it's necessary, enrolling them in organized sports, participating in after-school programs.

But can that go too far... is it possible to push your child too hard?  Most parents would get their child a tutor if they were struggling in school, but would you get them tutoring or classes to make them excel past their grade level?  To get them into college early?  To push them into a specific career path?  Force them to continue in a sport they didn't enjoy?

Even though my oldest daughter is just now in Kindergarten, I realize it's important that we give her the best start possible.  We opted for school of choice to get her into a better school, and if she needed tutoring or extra help you can bet we'd get it for her.  But even though I want my kids to do well in school, I don't want them to become obsessed with a grade or 'winning' in a sport... I don't want them to be consumed by succeeding in everything they do.  I think it's just as important to know how to cope when you do fail at something and learn how to go on from there.

And I think success can be interpreted differently by different people.  Your definition of success may not necessarily include being monetarily wealthy.  If your child grows up to always be kind to others and has a social conscience- would you consider them successful?  And would you consider yourself a success for raising them that way?


eah42 said...

This is a really thoughtful post. I don't have children yet but it really makes me wonder. Thanks for sharing!

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