The idea popped on my mind after watching ‘The Good Place’, (a series on Netflix) where Kirsten Stewart talks about a medium place. Why isn’t there a medium place?
Most people I know strive to be their best and are never happy with what they have achieved. This feeling of dissatisfaction can make life always feel incomplete or wanting.
As kids, we are taught to excel and right from childhood to the day we live our last breath we strive to be the best at everything. Somewhere in this journey, we realise our own capabilities and come to terms with it. Some of us have a dancing talent, or a voice like a nightingale and may excel at these but we may absolutely suck at running or writing. The others may be great orators but may have two left feet. We all find our own talents or things we excel at in our journeys. But then there is a lot that may never excel at anything.
No five fingers are alike and imagine a scenario when you have two kids one of whom is a great at academics, sports etc and the other not showing any prowess. What do you think happens?
One child grown up feeling privileged the other feeling like a loser. It’s not that the other one is not good enough, he just doesn’t shine like his sibling. His insecurities multiply with age. Even if he does well he is never confident and always compares his success to his sibling. And the performer sibling may suffer from atelophobia. He also doesn’t know how to handle failure, so much so that these are the kind of kids who will go into depression or even take an extreme step.
A study published in the Journal of Child and Family studies found. Researchers found that children of parents who put pressure on them by “over-managing” their lives at school ended up having higher levels of depression, decreased satisfaction with life and lower levels of autonomy and competence. The researchers concluded that though the parents in the study believed they were being supportive, ultimately this extremely involved parenting style undermined their children’s developing sense of self and confidence.
Why do we put this pressure of always excelling? Is good not good enough? Let’s face it, in a class only top 1-2 % will excel, rest will be good, average or non performers.
CBSE Class 10 results: 1.3 lakh students score above 90%, over 27,000 get more than 95% marks- Business Today.
This still forms just 1-2% of the total number of students. So does that mean, the ones scoring in their 80s did bad? Or will they go through life not achieving anything? Be it academics or sports or any other field in life, it’s true that the ones who excel will get more opportunities initially but the others will learn and do well eventually too.
What we as parents need to focus on is passion and intention. For if we can fuel the fire in their young minds and hearts then we have set them for life. Winning is good but learning to get from failure is way more important.