The Law of Averages
It is amazing how many children are talented and gifted these days…or let me put it another way, how many parents believe that their child is talented and gifted. Many parents not only overstate their child’s abilities but they truly believe they have begotten the next Albert Einstein or Jesus of Nazareth (–is that too much, lol) . It appears that the law of averages has been forgotten amongst a large portion of parents as 8 out of 10 parents will or would claim that their child is above average and is talented and gifted. Sorry, it is just not true. Your kid may read and write well for his age but that doesn’t qualify him as the next John Steinbeck. Sure he can throw a football, doesn’t mean he is Walter Payton. My daughter can act, doesn’t mean she is the next Katharine Hepburn – nor do I let her think she will be. It’s great to encourage our kids and watch them learn and excel but let’s not fill their head with hot air and over-inflate their abilities. We keep over inflating their abilities and suddenly we have a population that all thinks they are incredible when in fact they are just average and our nation suddenly comes to a standstill as none of these kids are actually as special as they have been lead to believe and really can’t come up with a creative thought, idea, artwork, performance, invention or analysis. They are now out into the real world facing the reality that they “aren’t all that” and their world will come crashing down and they will inevitably blame their parents (after all, it was the parents who spoon fed their children fallacies). So not only are we setting them up for failure, we are setting them up to dislike us. Let’s tell our children they are good at certain things and not good at other things. Be honest about their abilities – “yes, you can throw a football but your catching isn’t so great, how about we practice that. Oh and by the way little Jimmy, you need to do better in math as very few people ever get to the NFL. Your education is just as important as your sports. Your hard work in school and after-school activities will pay off”. Teach them to work hard with what they have, practice with them on what they are lacking – because every kid lacks something and most kids are just average.