Piano Lessons. Dance Lessons. Boy Scouts. Girl Guides. Many of you ended up in stuff like this as kids. How many of you actually chose it? Were you actually interested?
I’ll cover all bets that the majority of you were not interested.
I’ve long been critical of this overwhelming need for parents to insert their kids into things they have no interest in. This is not a dismissive missive against showing children things that could have a positive impact on their lives. Rather, the idea is to foster actual interests. Showing kids different things is what might lead them to positive paths. They can discover some things on their own or through school.
As a young lad I was in piano lessons. I referred to them as keyboard lessons just so I could feel less embarrassed. My interest in music was there. The interest was different though. It was to grow my hair long and play guitar then eventually bass, which thankfully did stick with me. Over time I ceased being in keyboard lessons out of necessity and other things that became more important for my youth.
Parents that are forcing their kids into things are often hoping for children to catch on to something. They will deny that they are really trying to live through them. I’ve been to enough musical recitals as a “performer” and observer to get a sense at how blatantly ridiculous some parents really are.
Children should never be forced to pick up on the failed dreams of their parents. Positive interests should be encouraged and encapsulated. Pushing kids into things they want no part of makes those things into chores instead of real passionate pursuits. Real chores would be things that would translate into life skills. Housework. Real chores. Real tasks. Real things that kids will need to actually learn.