I write about my life and life itself seen through my eyes for who can write through the experiences of others if not their own?

Monday, June 14, 2010

Too Much Too Soon

For the most part all parents want what’s best for their kids. Every parent glows with joy when their child is selected amongst the best or receives an award.

A portion of parenthood involves guiding and to some extent pushing our kids to achieve more. How much more is healthy? Where do we draw the line?

Where is it distinguished the kid’s ambition and that of his/her parents?

A local couple has pursued excellence in their children. They play the guitar, piano, and other instruments as well as they excel in sports. In addition, they graduated from High School 4 years earlier. I wonder how a 13 year old will feel in college among older teenagers. Probably the same way he felt among juniors and seniors when he was 11.

Emotional and chronological age must relatively match. Milestones of development cannot be skipped.

As a parent, I would not approve of my kid sailing the world solo as Abby Sutherland set to do in risky Indian oceans. No amount of world records can compensate for the risk of losing my 16 year old.

Would my fear of losing my child stop her or him from achieving what could only be done at that moment and never again? And if I agreed and encouraged, would I be pursuing my own dream or theirs?

We all remember Jessica Dubroff, the 7 year old who died attempting to become the youngest pilot to fly across the United States. Did she really understand the magnitude of her feat? Did she understand the record she was pursuing? Did she really want to hold that record or did her father?

Was it worth it?

No, it was not. She died attempting something that was beyond her years and which, had she achieved it, would not have changed her in any way. She was better off living the life of a normal average kid.

The most difficult part of being a parent is knowing when, how and how much.

That is no easy feat.