Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Does Their Life "Count"?

This past weekend on a cable channel I was watching a show that told about the lives of many genius, extremely gifted children. One parent was saying that it was his responsibility to help cultivate his child's gift so that the kid makes his full contribution to this world, and his life is not "wasted". It came out in the story that the parent was gifted such as his son, but no one guided him and his "gift". So, I guess what this Dad is saying is that his own life was "wasted"? And really, is his child's life "wasted" if he doesn't push him (several times you saw the dad prodding the child to answer a question by pushing his son's elbow, saying "go on, answer")?
I mean, yeah - I would of liked to have a child who is a piano genius or national spelling champ, etc. - and perhaps they could have been - if we had gone at life with the single-mindedness of say, Tiger's dad - but, first off, our life is not all about our children. We encourage them to do what they enjoy - but we aren't going to spend every free moment doing it with them. We want them to be happy, relaxed, well-rounded kids.
However, just because my child is very smart, or is an excellent pianist, or superb soccer player - I don't feel their life would be "wasted" or not "count" just because he/she didn't live their life doing only that.
So, what are your thoughts?