What do you want your child to be?
With the onset of Olympics fever everywhere, Olympics 2012 has been the hottest topic around. From people all over the world glued to their TV sets to watch participants from their Country either taking part in the sporting events, winning or losing.
One thing I noticed was that most parents get the “What do you want your Child to become Syndrome” mostly during these times. Every parent wants to give his or her child everything they were not able to get as a child, be it the best books, to the best computer gadgets or sporting gears or getting top grades in school. Parents want to live their unfulfilled dreams through their children. Wanting them to excel in everything they were not good at or were not able to pursue due to financial or family commitments.
What do we want your child to be?
Do you allow your child to participate without the fear of losing?
Just to reiterate the point, let me tell you what happened with me. I have a 7 year old, who gets top grades and is excellent in sports and is extremely fun loving with a great sense of humor. We live in a gated community which recently decided to hold sporting events during a long holiday weekend for all the kids in the community. Like I said it was our very own community Olympics.
The day dawned beautifully, with all the kids gathering smartly dressed on the ground within our community compound. The sports event was being organized by the youth group in our community, who decided to take the responsibility of the sporting events starting from registering the kids for the events to segregating the teams according to the age groups, drawing the racing lines etc.
Slowly the kids were joined by their parents, grandparents, relatives and neighbors who had come to witness the event. The qualifying rounds started, with girls below 8 years of age for various races, at the end of each race the names of the kid that came in first was taken down.
The race track had only 4 lines and hence could only accommodate 5 kids and the rest of them had to wait their turn as per ages and events they had taken part in.
As time went, you could see the waiting kids getting restless and wanting to take part in the chosen race faster. The youth group had a harrowing time just trying to keep the waiting kids in place and ready for the next round.
I was also standing near the racing track and watching the kids take part, waiting for my son’s turn in his chosen race. My son along with his friends was the most boisterous lot in the list of waiting kids. I could see some parents give last minute tips to their kids, while some asked their kids to sit with them, so as to not waste energy. I also heard many parents telling their child to come first, second or third. What really surprised me is that there were lots of kids, who did not want to take part, because they did not want to lose.
Finally it was my son’s turn, who along with his friends took his place in the race. At the count of three, all of them started running, with parents and wellwishers shouting or hooting out encouragements. My Son came second. I was expecting him to come in first and was disappointed. But my son did not even spend a second wanting to know who came first nor was he interested in the prize, but went right back to the organizing group and stood in line for the next event.
For me who was watching the Olympics 2012 with lots of enthusiasm since the opening on 26th July 2012. The only thing that came to mind was the fine lesson set by a 7 year old on the “Olympic Creed”
"The most important thing in the Olympic Games is not to win but to take part, just as the most important thing in life is not the triumph, but the struggle. The essential thing is not to have conquered, but to have fought well."
So, my learning from this lesson has been that having fun and participating is more important than winning or losing. Every child seems to know this lesson, which parents seem to forget and brainwash their kids by setting the bars high thereby making so many kids a bystander instead of active participants.
So now finally we can ask ourself,” What do we want your child to be?