Are You Crushing Your Child's Future?

I guess adults don’t really mean it when they say “dance like no one is watching” or “live in the moment” or “just be yourself.”

The scene: Father and daughter are playing chess at Naked Lounge coffeehouse in Sacramento, CA.

Daughter starts singing lyrics to a song.

Father: “Stop singing and focus (on the game).”

Slowly but surely the father is crushing his daughter’s natural creativity.

What makes your children light up?

What are your children’s natural tendencies? What are they drawn to? Are you crushing it out of them or helping them discover themselves?

I’ve seen this father and daughter at the coffeehouse before. The daughter is always dancing and singing. And she always looks so bored playing chess. She has a very natural creativity that easily expresses itself through movement and sound.

Accentuate the positive

As jazz singer, Ella Fitzgerald, sings: Accentuate the Positive. Or in this case, accentuate what’s obvious! Should the daughter become a chess champion or professional singer? Maybe the answer is neither. But to stifle what is so easily obvious – that’s a crime against the soul and society.

Society: “What were you born to do?”
Soul: “I don’t know, my father crushed it out of me.”

I agree with what Sir Ken Robinson mentions in his most-watched TED Talk of all time: at this stage in a child’s life their natural creativity is so easily crushed out of them. Robinson shares a story about a young girl who is finally allowed to be herself as a child – resulting in the world-famous dancer and choreographer, Martha Graham.

100% all-in

I’m 100% in Gary Vaynerchuk and educator, Ken Robinson‘s, camp of going “100% all in” on your strengths! Otherwise, there’s no Martha Graham, Bruce Lee or Steve Jobs to put dents in the universe.

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