At what point did “average” become a bad word?
When did it become a taboo word that shall never be spoken or heaven forbid, attributed to our children? (GASP!)
When did we start to expect our children to be anything but above average in their…
- Academic performance
- Sports agility
- Music, dance robotics prowess
- Social standing among their peers
As kids grow, the pressures do as well.
Not only on kids, but on their parents too.
Heaven forbid you have an average student.
My car bumper will be so naked without the “My Student is on the Honor Roll” bumper sticker!
What’s a parent to do if their kid doesn’t make the advanced, selective, competitive travel team in______! (pick a sport, any sport, and insert here)
How will my middle schooler go on to a super competitive high-status college if he/she doesn’t take AP everything starting RIGHT NOW?!
I had my heart set on the Proud _________ Mom sticker from (insert any status school mascot here, or your alumni mascot).
What happened to the phrase “C’s get degrees”?
What happened to understanding the bell curve?
Here’s a picture to remind us all….
Guess where most of us live in this bell curve?
Yep. Right in the middle
We may be above average in some areas… even some academic areas.
BUT NOT EVERYTHING.
Why do we expect our kids to be?
It’s unnatural if you think about it.
The only thing natural about it is naturally feeling the PRESSURE to be great at everything.
The PRESSURE we as parents feel…
The same PRESSURE our kids feel…
leads to higher levels of anxiety in them and in us.
Are you feeling (and caving) to the pressure of your parent peers?
Are you parenting out of fear of the average?
Do you think the only path to “success” is the one littered with AP/honors classes, crazy extracurricular schedules and a boatload of anxiety to go along with them?
Then I ask you, what defines success?
Is it a “good on paper” resume that you and your kid have spent time building since they were 5?
Is it a mentally healthy individual:
- Who knows who he or she is.
- Who has been given the SPACE to explore and build on their strengths and passions?
- Who knows who they are and likes what they see in themselves?
And maybe… just maybe… they got a few C’s along the way.
Maybe… just maybe… they were average in a few areas that they weren’t passionate about. A few areas that didn’t match up so well with their strengths.
Are you going to be the parent who will focus on where your child is average and get them to work harder to become above average in an area they aren’t passionate about just so their GPA can improve?
Can you be strong enough…
BOLD enough to…
RISE above the pressure you feel,
FACE your fear of how the future will play out
and let your child be AVERAGE?
Doing so can give the gift of freedom, both in their mindset and in their schedule, to your kids to pursue what they want for their lives.
Remember, their lives are for them to live.
Their lives are NOT there for us to live through.
It’s not about our quest for seemingly impressive bumper stickers.
It’s not about us at all.
Don’t be afraid of AVERAGE.
Teach your kids not to be afraid of it either.
Embrace average and help your kids embrace it too.
Doing so makes space for them to find their greatness.