My child has a friend who practices violin three hours a day. That is on top of homework, playing soccer, and learning a third language (he was raised bilingual in his parent’s native language). He is, by all accounts, a prodigy; and he is already turning heads with his multiple abilities. Unsurprisingly, he rarely gets time to go out with friends, or do sleepovers, or enjoy himself. There is too much to do, and his parents make sure he is doing it.
Am I saying that they are wrong? No, of course not. Every parent wonders if they’re doing enough to encourage their child’s development and talents. Most parents want their children to be successful. However, that doesn’t mean there isn’t merit in a less involved approach, which may include … butting out.
Butting out and letting your child explore their interests and talents at their own pace, could be your best bet into helping them explore AND enjoy their inner talents.
Helicopter Parents and Talent
As parents, one of the biggest challenges we face is knowing the best way to teach our children the importance of being independent.
As our kids grow, that natural inclination towards breaking away serves them well as you know you have done all you can to give them the tools they need to succeed. At least, that is the hope. However, there’s a chance to hinder their development if you continue to condone their small child behavior. Hence, the development into the Helicopter Parenting territory.
When your teen is developing and flourishing in a skill, particularly a creative one, being overbearing could very well stifle them. They may not take the same interest they would have had it been a passion they were allowed to explore on their own. They may even begin to act out, rebelling against the pressure that have been put on them.
If you need further reason to back off, there has been research that suggests that becoming too involved in an area of expertise limits a person’s ability for rational thinking and problem solving. Your kids might trade being amazing in one area at the expense of cognitive function in others.
You want your child to be well balanced, happy, and able to grow. Only by giving them space will they be able to reach new heights, and enjoy the feeling of accomplishment for having reached it largely on their own merit.
Go Hands Off, and Let Them Fly
Getting involved in your teen’s life, encouraging them, and making sure they fulfill their responsibilities will play a significant role in their success. However, be mindful of the effects of hovering and forcing them to take part in activities because you demand it.
Take your hands off the wheel and let them drive. You will end up with a well adjusted teen, who has developed skills that they are passionate about.