Good for Nothing Kids
“You are worried about seeing him spend his early years in doing nothing. What? Is it nothing to be happy? Nothing to skip, play, and run around all day long? Never in his life will he be so busy again. “
(Jean Jacques Rousseau)
For a child, doing nothing is often much more valuable than doing something. They learn to entertain themselves, to find joy in simplicity, to problem solve, to be content. So, why is it that we spend our energy either pushing our children towards adulthood or holding them back from it?
These are two very dangerous extremes and the worst part is, many of us fluctuate between them. On one hand, we push our kids when we structure their every activity and send them for SAT tutoring before they even get into high school. Then we shake our heads when they seem to lack joy and have trouble maintaining relationships in adulthood.
On the other hand, we hold them back when we overprotect them, intervene for them, and problem solve on their behalf. Then we complain when they are immature adults who don’t seem to have initiative or drive. In both cases, we overmanage our kids because of our own anxiety.
One of the best ways to truly prepare your child for a successful adulthood is to neither overprotect nor rush their childhood. Relax and teach them to live in the moment. That is a skill that very few of their peers will possess and you’ll be amazed at how they will flourish because of it.
Peace begins with pause,