OT- sort of general ponderings...

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Registered: 05-13-1998
OT- sort of general ponderings...
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Fri, 03-25-2011 - 2:09pm

I'll start with my question. How honest are you with your kids when it comes to their abilities and long term goals? How honest do you feel a parent or a teacher/mentor should be? At what

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Avatar for mahopac
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Registered: 07-24-1997
Fri, 03-25-2011 - 3:37pm

That's a very interesting question.

I think it's our job as parents to be realistic.

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Registered: 09-13-1999
Fri, 03-25-2011 - 5:55pm

I think it's a real tap dance trying to encourage and believe in our children while not crushing their dreams.

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Registered: 05-13-1998
Fri, 03-25-2011 - 6:47pm

I totally agree that drive can make up for a lot. Honestly though, those aren't the

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Registered: 02-14-2009
Fri, 03-25-2011 - 6:47pm

Very good question! We're very honest, but I have to say we talk much more often about having fun in the things you put a lot of effort in (and how to keep it fun), and about doing things because it means something to YOU, not only to be ranking yourself amongst others who do so. I think in your example, the parents did those kids a disservice any way you look at their remarks: either they do not know enough about broadway and honestly think their kid has done a marvelous job and has a chance, or they just want to be positive.... But it doesn't help those kids to get hopes up high that cannot be met this way....

My kids sometimes participate in music concourses and I always wonder if they're at their place there. We've seen kids perform really poor and talked about how they should not have been allowed to enter the contest, to protect their feelings and not kill their enthusiasm for what they do. There's other events they can play at, which are more appropriate.... By talking about this with my girls, they also learn for themselves what is needed for certain opportunities and how serious they have to be, but also that they do not necessarily have to go for the 'highest goal', they can also just enjoy what they do... So I don't have to be cruel to tell them they won't reach the top of something, as it's not always important to reach that top.....

Suzanne
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Registered: 04-09-2006
Fri, 03-25-2011 - 11:06pm
I've seen too many supposedly talentless people and late bloomers who have become successful (sometimes stunningly so), for me to feel comfortable judging other people's aptitudes or lack thereof, even when "everyone" else agrees that the person in question is ill suited to the chosen path.

Deborah
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Registered: 05-13-1998
Sat, 03-26-2011 - 11:23am
That's interesting because I don't think I've ever really seen that. I've seen people ill-suited for one particular goal change paths slightly and become very successful.... like being ill-suited for acting but becoming a very successful casting director... still in the same field but a job that took very different skills. I could see someone who was intensely driven making that sort of progress or a person who had a hidden gift but total lack of exposure until older ages. I'm not saying it can't happen. I just haven't see it personally.
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Registered: 01-04-2002
Sat, 03-26-2011 - 11:31am

My verbally gifted kid's ability to compensate for earlier lack of physical ability is what keeps me from saying anything about his abilities.

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Registered: 07-23-2002
Sat, 03-26-2011 - 12:53pm
You know, I think that most cases of parents / mentors not being apparently honest about the abilities of kids result from the adults having an inadequate appreciation of what's required to succeed. More naiveté than dishonesty. I think I'm pretty honest with my kids -- and I've made an effort to ensure that I'm not naive about their prospects. I'm aware that my kids are big fish in small ponds where they live, and that we needed to consider a larger scope in evaluating their career prospects. I waited until the concertmaster of a major North American orchestra told me that my dd should be considering a professional career before I actually started believing she had what it takes and telling her so.

Miranda

Miranda
in rural BC, Canada
mom to three great kids and one great grown-up
unschooler, violist, runner, doc 

Avatar for turtletime
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Registered: 05-13-1998
Sat, 03-26-2011 - 1:58pm
I think you are talking about something very different though. People can improve. People can overcome disabilities. Certainly, one shouldn't give up doing something they love. That is why there is such a strong community theatre movement. People who love theatre but can't make a living at it or don't want the kind of living theatre can provide still have an outlet. What I'm talking about is watching an older teen/young adult limiting their career choices by single-mindely pursuing avenues they are totally ill-suited for. Time is valuable and we have such a small window of time to explore without the pressures of daily responsibilities. I just feel we are better encouraging our older teens and young adults to see the whole picture whether that means starting to expose them to larger circles or introducing them to ways they can still be involved in a field they love even if their ideal falls through.

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Registered: 09-13-1999
Sat, 03-26-2011 - 3:22pm
I feel bad for those kids because they may be in for a very unpleasant experience...though really you never know. There are plenty of performers who dont impress me with their talent. But perhaps because my natural tendency is to see the negatives and obstacles that i have to fight the tendency in the other direction to try and protect my girls from any potential hurt. I can't say that this sort of buoying up is all bad. I worry a lot more about the kid who is told he doesn't have what it takes and never tries at all. At least the experience of being successful builds some confidence.

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