What parent doesn’t want their children to do amazing things when they grow up? In today’s world, successful parenting is often measured by what your kids do. If they grow up to become educated and contributing members of society, you’ve done your part. That’s not exactly true, but it’s something parents have commonly come to believe.
As a result, they’ll push their kids to do an unhealthy amount of activities. The more they do in school and extracurricular activities, the more likely they are to reach the materialistic success you want for them, right?
Unfortunately, that’s not usually true. Psychological studies have shown that pushing teens too hard, though well-intentioned, leads to a variety of problems, including rebellion, interest in drugs and alcohol, deflated self esteem, and other vulnerabilities that lead to failure rather than success. As paradoxical as it sounds, pushing your teens too hard could be the thing that makes them fail.
We’ve already established that every parent wants their children to succeed. To achieve that goal, here are a few things you should avoid.
Creating schedules is good for kids who thrive on structure, but that doesn’t mean every minute of every day should be filled. Too much responsibility in one day leads anyone to burn out, even your resilient kids.
It’s okay if your child has an hour—or even two—that they can devote to whatever they want. That doesn’t mean they should spend several hours per day watching television, but a little mindless entertainment won’t hurt their chances for success. This time can also be theirs to explore their creativity and passions that will help them follow their dreams later on. It will keep them focused on positive goals rather than negative past times that may require behavioral treatment later on.
Putting Them in Activities They Don’t Like
Let your kids choose their own activities. Encourage them to try a few things, and teach them that it’s good to do things you don’t like occasionally to build character, but that it shouldn’t be the main focus.
You might think you’re teaching teens to diversify their interests, but really, you’re just teaching them to suppress their passion for something else. People who find success in life learn to get very involved in one or two things and master it. They don’t waste time and energy on things they don’t enjoy because it won’t lead to anything. It’s passion that yields success.
Burning Them Out on a Busy Schedule
Burn out manifests itself primarily as lack of productivity. They’ll start to become unhappy with their activities and get less done in a given time period. Kids need time to do things for themselves. Give them time on the weekends to explore their own interests so they feel self-fulfilled by their activities rather than stifled.
It’s good to remain encouraging and push your kids to success, but that doesn’t mean you should control their every move. Find a way to help your kids gain success through their own passions rather than through yours.