Is it wrong to motivate my child to succeed?
I wrote a bit about my book and my thoughts on motivating children to learn and I received an interesting comment from an anonymous commentator.
Comment: 02/5/2014 at 02:48 PM
I know of no child that wants to become rich and successful. They want to be happy. If they want to be rich, that's the way you taught them to be, and I find that shallow.
I may have addressed this before at another forum but I am going to share my thoughts here as well, since it’s my personal blog about my personal thoughts, opinions and beliefs.
As to the assertion of my anonymous commentator made that children “do not want” to be rich and successful – is troubling to me. My experience has been that anyone that is anyone wants to be successful in one thing or another.
In fact children just like adults hate to fail. No one likes to feel like a failure or to be considered a failure and while many have the good intention of teaching children that we are all winner’s; the facts are that children know that we are not all winners.
Let me give you a simple example of how I know this to be.
My son has been a part of a Christian basketball team since he was about six years old. The goal of the organizers is not to teach basketball to these children – it’s to teach bible principals in a fun active playful way. The goals are to teach sportsmanship, patience, dedication, acceptance and love towards others. The games are played without keeping score, this is done to avoid any team or child from feeling like if they have lost – as in failure (you know, the opposite of success).
In the four years that I have been taking my son to these practice games, taking him to the team games on Saturday I never once saw a coach yell at a child, push the children to win – in fact the referees are extremely lax on many rules (walking and other rules are trampled with impudence). After the games the children get a snack and are given stars based on their attitudes during the game: a star for defense, a star for offense, you can even get a star for Christ likeness.
Yet every year, despite the efforts of the church, the organization and the coaches to make every child feel accepted and to feel like a winner – the children keep track of which team won and which team lost.
You would be surprised to learn that even the littlest of children who play the game come off of the court or walk out of the complex after the game; talking about who won (success) or who lost (was not successful). Can you imagine that – children being concerned about success?
I would have to assume that according to the anonymous commentator – the reason these children are concerned about winning is because every religious parent, coach, referring, the entire Christian organization is shallow and has secretly instilled this evil desire into each child.
I teach my children to be good people, honest people and I instill in them Christian biblical values. But this does not mean I will shy away from teaching them to strive for excellence, to struggle for self-improvement, to challenge them-selves to be better.
I want my children to be happy and because I do I teach them to be motivated – to dream big and to seek for more in life. My question to you and to my anonymous commentator: when your child comes home with failing grades and has no drive to accomplish things in life – are you happy or concerned?
Please leave a comment below I would love to hear your response.