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Friday, January 18, 2013

PARENTAL VISIONS OF GRANDEUR

BRYCE ON PARENTING

- Just who are you trying to impress anyway? Certainly not me.

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Naturally, we all love our children, but it has always bothered me how parents want to impress you with how much better their kids are than your own. I remember years ago hearing a friend brag to me, "Well, our little girl has been accepted into Montessori school." I would counter by saying, "Gee, I didn't know she was having a problem." I don't think he saw the humor in this.

Back when I was coaching Little League, I ran into many parents who saw their kid as the next Babe Ruth and made sure I knew about it. One by one, they all eventually dropped out of baseball in favor of pursuing other interests or simply because they knew they couldn't excel in it any longer. This was fine with me as it meant I didn't have to listen to the parents' malarkey anymore.

I find it interesting how parents try to live vicariously through their offspring. I guess they feel they blew it in life and are now getting a second chance through their children. This puts a lot of pressure on the kids to satisfy their parents and not enjoy the moment. Kids have a tough enough time with school and learning how to socialize; the last thing they need is an overbearing parent pushing them too hard. Yes, we want parents to be an active part of their children's lives, but they shouldn't try to live their lives through them. Sometimes, kids just need to be kids. In Little League, as well as youth soccer and football, it's now quite common to have parents sign a code of conduct requiring them not to be obnoxious at sporting events. I never dreamt we would ever need such a contract, but with some parents trying to live through their kids, I guess I'm really not surprised.

I'm now a little older and have seen the children grow into adulthood. I find it amusing that the kids who were touted as geniuses by their parents are now working at convenience marts, and the star athletes now work on fishing boats. I guess they either peaked too early or their parents burned them out.

Those parents suffering from visions of grandeur need a reality check. There is certainly nothing wrong with a kid who shows signs of intelligence or possesses a talent, but there is a difference between nurturing their abilities and pushing them too hard. I guess some parents need to be reminded whose life it is, their children's or their own? Whichever it is, please keep it to yourself as nobody else really cares.

Keep the Faith!

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Tim Bryce is a writer and the Managing Director of M&JB Investment Company (M&JB) of Palm Harbor, Florida and has over 30 years of experience in the management consulting field. He can be reached at timb001@phmainstreet.com

For Tim's columns, see:   timbryce.com

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Copyright © 2013 by Tim Bryce. All rights reserved.

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