Something to think about.

The trouble is, many of us have bought into the idea that every child has a “hidden talent,” Professor Doherty said, and that we are failing our children if we don’t do everything possible to bring it to light.

There are certainly good reasons to offer our children some of these experiences, but there are more negative ones as well, if we rely on them to make us feel like good parents, or if we think that arming them with a myriad of skills can guarantee their later success in life.


So why the rush? In some cases, it’s hard for children to join sports teams at 12 if every other child has been playing since, say, age 5. But many of us will pick up skills and, yes, even passions, well into our adult years that never manifested themselves when we were younger.

From Family Happiness and the Overbooked Child, The New York Times, Aug 12, 2011


2 thoughts on “Something to think about.

  1. You know, I’ve thought about this before. I never played any sports as a child, due to lack of inclination, ability, and confidence. While I still don’t play any sports,I am now more inclined to want to and be willing to learn. It’s nice to know that we truly don’t have to give our children every opportunity in the world!

  2. It did make me think. My kids actually do a lot of outside activities and sometimes I wonder if it’s the best thing. In recent readings of biographies by Oliver Sacks and C. S. Lewis I was struck by the way they both described their childhoods as being ones where boredom and the lack of playmates led to incredible creative endeavors. I wonder what my son would do with his time if he wasn’t doing baseball and piano and scouts.

    But then I see how much he likes all the activities.

    I think what this article did for me was to make me look at why we are doing what we do. Right now they do things they enjoy and neither H. nor I has expectations that any of these activities are the key to success. I think it’s good though for me to keep questioning myself and making sure we are doing things for the right reasons.

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