Monday, July 6, 2015

Do you really want a child prodigy?

I consider my son to be smart. He is a great reader, communicator, budding scientist and explorer. I love the way he tackles new topics that interest him, and I don't mind when he bails on subjects that bore him. He has that kind of crazy chaotic nature that all five-year-old boys display, but is able to focus on building with his Legos for hours.

I am so happy that he is not a prodigy.

Let me explain: Although it would be wonderful for him to have some sort of natural, ingrained talent within a particular field, I am not sure I could handle the dedication and sacrifice it would take to nurture that talent. After reading this article on what it takes to be the parent of a high-achieving child, I am not sure I would be willing to move our family, take on a second job or become a training coach in addition to the normal set of daily parenting duties.

There is an intensity to the family dynamic in that linked article - those parents have dedicated their lives to their children - that I am not sure I could sustain. (I remember taking ballet for more than 12 years before giving it up and my Mom's disappointment at that - and I was no prodigy. Sorry, Mom!) I also can't imagine what the family dynamic is like if you have more than one child but only one of them is the family prodigy.

There's enough pressure on being a child already.

So, I will continue to let my son try any sport he wants, to make paper airplanes on weekends and to see if he can ride his bike faster than Mommy can run. I am happy with our life full of a little bit of everything.

What is one talent that you wish you were able to nurture more? Tell me in the comments.

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