Why do we push children so hard in the name of “Success”? What is being “Successful” anyway? It was not until recently, that I realised, I am a rather pushy parent. I home educate our two children and therefore, I believe it is my responsibly to make sure they both “Succeed” in life. I see great career possibilities in every little thing they are interested in, I jump on it like a tiger, pushing them to do more. How, totally annoying it must be to have someone keep suggesting your future vocation to you when you are only seven and thirteen years old! Even, if the words are not spoken, children can feel the “What are you going to do with your future?” energy around them. This energy comes from the society we live in, it is all around us, it is how things work in the Western world.
The truth is, we have no idea what our children might choose do when they grow up. We do not even know what tomorrow will bring let alone ten, twenty years time. Singer/Song writer and all round wise woman, Rachel Carr-hill says, “For some people, maybe life’s purpose is not to be successful in their chosen vocation, but to bring healing to those around them by becoming more self-aware“.
Once, when I told someone my children did not go to school, they remarked in a sarcastic tone “Well, what are you going with them, just send them out into the world as nice people“. I did not respond to this statement, I did not need to, I just smiled and walked away. It is easy to get caught up with worrying about our children, whether they are in main stream education or not. Our society gives people status for “What” we do rather than “Who” we are. I am not suggesting we do not encourage and support our children’s interests just not pressure them into turning everything in a possible future career choice. I am reminded of the follow words,
“Do not ask your children
to strive for extraordinary lives.
Such striving may seem admirable,
but it is the way of foolishness.
Help them instead to find the wonder
and the marvel of an ordinary life.
Show them the joy of tasting
tomatoes, apples and pears.
Show them how to cry
when pets and people die.
Show them the infinite pleasure
in the touch of a hand.
And make the ordinary come alive for them.
The extraordinary will take care of itself.”
~William Martin, The Parent’s Tao Te Ching: Ancient Advice for Modern Parents