Parents everywhere want their children to achieve success. This success is usually measured by a child’s ability to fulfill societal norms. For example, good grades or athletic ability may equate to a perception of success.
The constant push to do well in these activities is putting pressure on children, and on parents as well.
Kids are often compared to peers, siblings, and charts. These comparisons fuel expectations that children must develop at a specific rate. We expect kids to master skills at certain times.
Unfortunately, this is causing stress and decreasing children’s self-esteem. Instead of measuring our child against others, we should celebrate each child’s uniqueness. We can nurture a child’s individuality by allowing them time to grow into the best version of themselves.
What often gets forgotten is that every child is different. Children have different temperaments, strengths, personalities, and vulnerabilities; thus, their development will vary.
As kids grow, they will go through several developmental stages. In each of these stages, it is normal that children might be a little ahead of their peers in some areas and not in others.
Parents often feel under pressure to parent the “right” way to avoid judgment from others. This causes them to push their children in ways that may not necessarily be the best for that child.
The constant prodding to not fall behind can be counteractive to the desired goal of success. As Bansky, a street artist, said, “A lot of parents will do anything for their kids except let them be themselves.”
There is no doubt that parents want their children to do their best, but often “their best” is someone else’s best. Adults often have unreasonable expectations of children, which creates more anxiety than motivation.
These expectations can occur because parents get caught up in planning their child’s future. We sometimes forget to allow time for natural talents to develop.
Of course, reaching developmental milestones is important. But recognize there will still be variations from child to child. Given enough nurturing and stimulation, children will go on to achieve great things.
There are many programs available that can enrich a child’s skill development. One good example is the SKILLZ Child Development Program.
SKILLZ uses a curriculum that encourages physical, intellectual, emotional, and social growth. All SKILLZ classes are age-specific and developmentally appropriate. Instructors use martial-arts-themed techniques to help children reach age-appropriate goals.
Our game-based learning approach makes classes fun and engaging. This lessens the pressure and allows children to feel proud of their accomplishments. Kids feel successful as they develop their new abilities in “Ninja Class”.
As adults, we must remember to slow down and meet children where they are in their personal growth. By appreciating each child’s uniqueness, we can nurture their individual development. This will help the kids feel more motivated to learn and increase their confidence. Motivation and confidence, in turn, help them achieve more remarkable successes.
As Berta Lippert said, “Every child is gifted. They just unwrap their packages at different times.”