How many of you try to change the children in your life? How often do you think to yourself, “I wish she was……” “I wish he would……”?
Having hopes and dreams for our children is as natural as breathing. We look to the future, seek out ways to ‘improve’ their path in life. But how many of us attempt to push them onto a path not of their choosing? How many of us are determined that our children will do ‘well’ in life?
But let me ask you this – who’s idea of ‘well’ is it?
As a society we seem intent on celebrating academia, urging children to work harder in school, and to get good grades. From ludicrously young ages we test them, label them, pressure them. We find their ‘flaws’ and seek to systematically eradicate each one, we work hard to improve our children, mould them into our idea of what a child ‘should’ be.
And I’m not speaking about the rules and regulations that govern all our lives, the passing of knowledge that instills in a child the difference between right and wrong, or encouraging our children to do their best. I’m talking about our inherent desire to develop a school system that is so hung up on results that, unless a place of learning is remarkable, it completely ignores the individual talents of pupils.
With talk of drama, dance and art being dropped from the curriculum in some areas of the country, the children who do not excel at core subjects are being metaphorically patted on the head and pushed in the direction of manual jobs. How soul destroying must that be?
What about the children who where born with gifts and a passion to create? Children who could fill our lives with paintings, sculpture and beauty. Children who could make us laugh and cry with their performances. Children who think outside the box, and colour outside the lines.
The world in which we live is evolving, we actively NEED more entrepreneurs. Just watch this video by Ken Robinson. He explains my point exquisitely.
A gardner can create the most amazing landscapes by controlling each and every plant in a garden. Yet there is an intense beauty that radiates from a wild, rambling rose.
The children in our lives absolutely need our guidance. But maybe, just maybe, that guidance needs to be tailored towards each child – as a completely unique individual.
Schools, colleges, universities and society are great at turning out cogs, but let me ask you this – what if your child is a wheel?