Thursday, July 09, 2009

when is winning not enough, for parents ?

I had a fascinating conversation with a colleague yesterday in the bus, where we talked amongst others, about schoolsport. His children are in it deep and mine are only starting. He is also experienced in family ministry and an expert in education, so, we reflected on the obsession of us as parents and schools to make our children winners. We, as parents often pay the price (literally as well!), our lifestyle and forms of practicing our faith change and we are left wondering: when is enough enough or, when is winning not enough..

One of the things he said was that there comes a time, when winning is not the best outcome. Indeed, winning will not allways be the outcome, because the system is geared to valorise winning with a step-up'to the next level'. On this level, we often start at the bottom again. But also, there are situations where winning, at all costs, might be going against what your reasons for participation was in the first place.

Another very important consideration then, is the question why we are participating and why do we, as parents, allow our children to participate or, in some cases, expect them to participate and win.

What does it mean when Paul speaks of 'glorifying or thanking' God (Col3:17), in everything we do and participate in? Does it mean to be the best, to be on top and succesful or is there a place for the embarassing cross, and if so, where.

Often, young people struggle with their own losses, their own vulnerabilities and fears. Often they struggle to live up to the expectations of parents, teachers, and a winning, smurking God, who parades with the trophies. Does it help when the God we present to them, is a Superman-God, who expects his children also to be super-human?


TDP001 said...

I believe that as parents one wants the best for one's child, and that is normally to exceed and achieve more than what you have done in life, cause you want them to be the best.
But many times we forget to enjoy and take in the now, which means more to a child than achieving the greatest rewards in his/her catergory of sport or activity.
At times parents become so blind to see that their child has a problem, and push them harder and harder creating deeper scars.
If they eventually realize that there is something wrong with their child it is off to the doctor and we believe that the child can still achieve and the problem not be seen as a handicap.
Forgetting again to enjoy the now, feel it,touch it...but we busy planning the tomorrow and you lose a spiritual connection with your child. Watching a clip on youtube "99 balloons", Dear Elliot at
made me look at each year,as a month,each month as a week,a week as a day,a day as an hour, an hour a minute, a minute a second. And as parents enjoy every day with your child in the now, not expecting anything in return, taking care of the gift you to take care of. Enjoy every moment now and leave the mourning for later.

fish said...

It is a strange and difficult balance that one needs to have as parents. Children should be thought the value of achieving and working hard at everything they do but not at the expense of their parents goals and aspirations.

I'm of the opinion that a child's best should not be measured in terms of peers' performance but rather their own.

We need to keep the balance and not live out our lives and dreams through the lives o our children. Rather support them in that which they decided. We houldhowever not neglect in our duty to guide and educate on issues.

An oppinion from a father of a 2year old..