Dog Eat Dog

I don’t pretend to know what it’s like raising a teen and I try to avoid acting like I know things I don’t (and having to eat my words later) but I do think about this kind of thing a lot.

I saw this post recently and if you can get past the kinda click-baity “KILLING” and “PERFECT” and “BLAME” stuff, it… is a thing.

And even now, with my 6.5-yr-old, I find myself wondering sometimes if I’m hindering something in his future by not having him in a bunch of competitive sports and stuff. But right now, he doesn’t want to, and there are very, very good things happening in the quiet and sometimes mayhem of our own messy home, that seem *right.*

I guess I just tell myself, and maybe I’ll keep telling myself in future years, that:

– the most important things are his character, his health (mental and otherwise), and his ability to be a decent human being to other human beings;

– he is exceptional ([{*super secret pro tip: they all are, every single one*}]) and capable of exactly what God put him on this earth to do, and lack of elementary-school-aged mega-competition is not going to ruin his chances to be who he was made to be;

– it requires faith to choose reason, connection, balance, and giving him some autonomy (which will grow over the years), and to believe that that will be enough when he is older.

Choices we make now and in the next few years might keep him from the US Olympic team or from being the next Steve Jobs or whatever (although I doubt the latter – those people always come out of nowhere), but there’s a whole lot of full life to be lived outside of the tippity top 0.0001% of whatever field you’re shooting for.

And if these colleges and businesses are wanting more and more and more for less (higher and higher and higher-qualified entry-level employees, aka people getting paid much much less for the same level of expertise/training/experience that used to be provided at least somewhat by the colleges and companies themselves), I guess we’ll try to find a way to make do another way. Naive, maybe. But that’s how I see it.

 

I’m not trying to trash talk competitive sports. Do them if your kid loves them. Do them if it makes sense. Teach your kids to work hard and to honor commitments, by all means. But DON’T do them when you have to drag your kid kicking and screaming every time. Don’t do them if it’s because you’re worried about their college admission and they’re 4. Don’t do them if it’s because you feel like you should or because everyone else is.

I heard some great advice recently (on kind of another topic) that was essentially: Do the thing or don’t do the thing. Just make sure your decision isn’t based on fear. 

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Posted in Posts by Abbey

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