Success & Common Sense — Parents Back Off

Contemporary parenting is once more the subject of investigation.  In the NYimes book review the discussion examines this issue in contemporary terms. [article]
 One of the more fascinating aspects of this subject regard the motivation of today's parents–are they truly motivated by what is "best" for their child or are they seeking to bolster their own egos in the reflected light of their child's accomplishments?  And furthermore, what life lessons for their children are being lost in the process?
 The topic of how to assist your children in reaching their full potential is an obsession of many.  The "helicopter" mom continuously hovers.  The insist that their children get the "best" teachers, have the "best" tutors, receive the "best" grades.  They refuse to accept less than perfection from their children and their scholastic environment. They continuously compare their child with those of their friends and contemporaries.  They fear their children will not go to Harvard, Princeton or Yale.
 There is danger in such micromanaging.  Not only does it create a horrifically neurotic relationship with their children which refuses to acknowledge human imperfection, but it attempts to block their children from dealing with adversity.  The result may be a generation of chronically dependent children who then become young adults and eventually inadequate to deal with the challenges of mature adulthood. 
Most of us are imperfect (lol).  Most of  us fail at something we deeply desire to achieve.  But what then?  How do we overcome such adversity.  And more importantly, who has decreed that the qualities that produce great students is necessarily the same that allow creative, innovative, motivated individuals to achieve their own definition of success?  We are all away of many successful individuals whose path to achieving was "nontraditional". 
Rather than create a robotic, neurotic, fantasy of their parents' projections, allow that young individual to find a path that feels comfortable for them.  That does not imply the parents step back and not pay attention.  It does not require parents to not intervene when reasonably necessary.  It does speak to a "back off" approach to every nuance and detail of their children's lives. 
Failure builds resilience.  Lack of complete fulfillment teaches their children to evaluate what is important in life and perhaps seek alternative pathways.  Qualities that lead to success are often not the same as appear on standardized exams.  The creative, entertainment,  intellectual and business world are replete with successful individuals who did not follow traditional pathways.
And ultimately should it not be the path that our children choose rather than one imposed on them? How else can anyone find the determination to overcome obstacles
 I believe Albert Einstein is quoted as saying If you want your children to be geniuses, tell them fairy tales. Einstein was not seeking to generate a generation of "successful" test takers.  Genius requires imagination, innovation and new ways of looking at the world.   Would today's parent's buy into that approach?

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