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Encouraging Heroes. You can be one too.

Editor’s note: I’d like you to welcome Kathy Wilson, our latest guest author here at Earnest Parenting. Kathy has quite an essay to share. I’m excited about sharing it in part because I disagree with some of it, and her writing has caused me to think deep thoughts. That’s always fun, especially in August when the long days start to fry my brain. I needed a little mental work-out! Thanks, Kathy!

Ambition, Your Child, and You
When we hear the word ambition, we associate it with a sense of personal aspiration – we aspire to achieve our ambitions. And depending on what or who motivates us and how driven that motivation is, we get where we aim to be. Now there are some people who don’t realize their ambitions – this may be because they’re not motivated or dedicated enough, or because the ambition is not theirs in the first place to achieve. Rather, it has been thrust upon them by people who are close to them, more often than not by their pushy parents.

The problem with most parents today is that they tend to force on their children ambitions that were once upon a time theirs, ambitions that went unachieved for lack of support, motivation and/or the lack of opportunity. And so when they have children to boss around, their dormant and unachieved ambitions come to the fore, and like tentacles, they wrap themselves around their children. Whether the child is interested or not, he or she is forced to attend dance lessons, tennis classes, piano tuitions, and so on and so forth. Meanwhile, the proud parent goes around bragging to anyone who is willing to lend half an ear how talented their youngster is and how he or she is a prodigy in the making.

Other parents may not thrust their ambitions on to their child, but if they see that their offspring shows budding talent in some sphere or the other, they push them to achieve greatness and become the best. While this is not an issue if the child too shares the ambition to excel in this field, it becomes a huge problem if the little one feels pressured to perform and ends up suffering both physical and mental side effects. Very often, the parents are in it for the money that the child generates or for a share of the fame that comes through the child. They don’t stop to think about the psyche of the child and how his or her mental wellbeing is affected.

In both scenarios, the parents are pushy and ambitious – they live vicariously through their children and exploit them for their own purposes. They’re not good parents; rather, they’re like businessmen seeking to make the best of opportunities. In the process, they ruin the holistic wellbeing of their child and leave them broken and battered, so much so that the child may be forced to rebel and head in the opposite direction. Some kids tend to willfully waste their lives just to spite their pushy parents while others suffer all through their childhood only to manifest problems galore when they become adults. They have behavioral problems that affect every single aspect of their lives, from their profession to their personal relationships, and which end up causing more harm than good.

What parents need to remember is that their child is not a piece of property or an asset that has to be “developed” and “boosted in value”. Rather, a child is a gift from God, one that is supposed to spiritually enrich your life and make you a better person. So if there is ambition, let it be that of the child, not one that you force-feed down his or her throat.

This guest post is contributed by Kathy Wilson, who writes on the topic of x-ray technician schools . She welcomes your comments at her email id: kathywilson1983@gmail.com

Earnest Parenting: help for parents who are concerned about being too ambitious.