When parents want to encourage their children about finding a career they often say, “You can be anything you want to be.” Is it a lie? Absolutely!
The truth is, if you’re 4’9, you will probably never play in the NBA. You teach someone all the basketball you want, but if they do not match up with the physical requirements of the NBA, all the techniques and practice in the world will not allow this goal to become reality.
Further it is also true that we have more opportunities in the United States than just about anywhere else in the world, but no one can be whatever they want. A skilled engineer will probably go crazy trying to write a book, and an artist would most likely go bananas if she had to crunch numbers for a living. Yes, God has given everyone gifts, but no one has every gift.
Rather than tell kids they can be whatever they want, we as parents should ask ourselves, “What kind of gifts and talents can I enhance in my children?” In other words, how can we encourage growth of the particular gifts, talents and benefits that God has placed in each of our children? Parents should also teach their kids to strive for excellence by doing their best with whatever skills and talents God has given them.
Most importantly parents need to understand that the most dangerous lie is not the enviable one we tell our kids that, ”they can be anything they set their mind to”, but the one we tell ourselves. It’s when we are not honest with ourselves with what our children can or cannot succeed at, thus possibly setting them up for unnecessary and unintentional failure.
Of course loving our children and believing in them and their ability, as well as believing in our ability and dedication to be the best parents we can be is ultimately all that is important. Recognizing our children’s true gifts and talents and the encouraging them in the right direction will go a long way to help us develop happy, healthy and success for children. Because remember, no matter how much I want my son to become a NBA star, no matter how much basketball I teach them, to dribble, to shoot, to pass, to run a 1 -3 – 1 defense….but at some point I must realize I can’t teach them to be TALLl!
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