Just recently I wrote about some basic insights regarding the (current) education of our son. After posting this in Facebook my (more or less virtual) friend Bruno wrote:
rule #1: it’s a kid, not a project
To make it short: I totally agree, even though I have to admit that I felt a little bit angry about this response. Why was I angry? Because I thought this aspect is soooo crystal clear, that I do not have to point this out. I felt personally “attacked” (yes, my problem), that such a smart guy like him has to write a comment like that. On the other hand I am glad for his opinion (or feedback = corrective impulse), since he gave me the opportunity to write about one of my favorite pieces of Khalil Gibran – “On children” – which says:
Your children are not your children.
They are the sons and daughters of Life’s longing for itself.
They come through you but not from you,
And though they are with you yet they belong not to you.
You may give them your love but not your thoughts,
For they have their own thoughts.
You may house their bodies but not their souls,
For their souls dwell in the house of tomorrow,
which you cannot visit, not even in your dreams.
You may strive to be like them,
but seek not to make them like you.
For life goes not backward nor tarries with yesterday.
You are the bows from which your children
as living arrows are sent forth.
The archer sees the mark upon the path of the infinite,
and He bends you with His might
that His arrows may go swift and far.
Let your bending in the archer’s hand be for gladness;
For even as He loves the arrow that flies,
so He loves also the bow that is stable.
Ok. Forget the “God”-blah (as an atheist I replace these terms with “universe”). The condensed “truth” is: Let the children be children. Let them make their own experiences. Let them go their own path – do not even try to create “perfect” beings. Give love, consultation and patience. So everything I can do is to offer, but not to “sell” insights. And definitely no helicopter-parent-style indoctrination.
To end up this post, and to prove that I really mean it, one last little story about my stance:
I am (or was?) really not the greatest fan of soccer. And what happened? Our son is since one year TOTALLY into it. He loves the game, the spectacle, the team spirit, … actually everything which a seven year old can understand about it.
What happened? He will join a kids soccer club in August and I bought a seasonal ticket for Fortuna Düsseldorf.
The cool thing is: I started to understand the “narrative” of soccer – and I started to like it. And that is the real thingy about this story: I have the chance to learn something from him. That is the real gift.