How To Accept That Your Child Is Not A Genius

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How To Accept That Your Child Is Not A Genius
How To Accept That Your Child Is Not A Genius
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Alexey Belyakov, a columnist at BeautyHack and a father of three, explains why it is most important to raise not a brilliant child, but a happy one.

A friend admires her five-year-old son: "I think he is a genius, in everything a genius." He notices my slightly ironic look: "Why don't you consider your Kira a genius?" Our children are the same age, and this is a dangerous question. What I answered her - I will say in the final.

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I have old friends, a husband and wife. They have a charming daughter, now she is already 25. Anya literally grew up in front of my eyes, I even nursed her. Anya's parents adored. I often visited them, we chatted and drank, but as soon as Anechka appeared (she was a completely unobtrusive child), the parents demanded: "Read a poem, sing a song!" Anya muttered something shyly, her parents looked at the guests demandingly: we are waiting for enthusiasm, applause, tenderness. In short, a common thing.

I'm a crazy dad myself. I want to notify the whole world about every new phrase of my Kira, since now there are social networks for crazy parents. And quite often I already raise my hand to knock out my daughter's great aphorism on Facebook, but I stop myself with a mighty effort of will. Calm down, Belyakov, this is just your personal high, why torture others?

Frankly, it makes me a little nervous when mothers-fathers scribble: “Oh! My Dimochka, sweet cake, said today that … "Or:" My Katyushenka, sweet bead, performed in the kindergarten today, watch the video! " Dima didn't say anything special. Katyushenka danced as befits a four-year-old. Yes, very nice, no more. Thousands are "very cute" on the net. Hundreds of thousands. Millions. I have never read a single unique phrase of a child among friends and have not seen a single amazing dance. They don't have to. They are children. Normal kids. And we are not very normal parents. Which is also in the order of things, this is our basic instinct. Just don't burden the whole world with these phrases and dances.

So about Anya.

About three years old, as expected, Anya began to draw. And then the parents went completely nuts. They decided that Anya was a brilliant artist. A little later, she began to go to some local circle, and her parents hung her drawings around the house. No, this is just very good, the child should grow up in affection and admiration. But the parents began to give away her drawings to all the guests. They were sincerely convinced that Anechka's masterpieces would be hung in other houses. The situation is ethically stupid. Because there was nothing outstanding in Anya's drawings, well, absolutely nothing, ordinary kalyak-malyaks. (Without false modesty: at the same age I was drawing much more interesting, but my mother did not sell my "canvases" to anyone). And the guests portrayed sour affection, took these drawings, and then did not know what to do with.

I would be happy to continue the story like this: what a fool I was, I should have kept these works, because now Anya is a fashionable artist with exhibitions in New York and Tokyo. But figurines. At the age of 12, she gave up drawing. It's a shame, but no more: Anya never came up with anything outstanding. Agree, by adolescence, talent should already be manifested. But no. And the parents suffered. They scolded their daughter terribly, tried to force, "We believed in you, and you …" They were sure of their daughter's genius, but she just took it and left it … Well, not disgusting? She was rude in return. Yes, they really suffered. Seems to still suffer. Although Anya has become a sensible manager. But damn it, a manager, not an artist! What a tragedy for intelligent parents.

Don't go crazy, dear parents. There is no tragedy. Don't need this - "we believed in you so much …". Develop talents, dance, paint, but be ready to accept right away: my child is not a genius. All.

Don't torture him. Don't project your complexes: I didn't, but he will definitely become! But it won't, so what? Yes, we can rarely be objective, but there is an outside view, an expert opinion. And if your parental optics deceives you - ask other specialists. Don't believe it, ask another. Although, of course, to hear about "sweet cake" that he has no prospects in music or tennis is a drama. However, it is better to get through the drama faster and earlier. And not when at the age of 14-16 it becomes finally clear to everyone that the child is categorically unmusical or unplastic. Only parents have already invested a lot of money, energy, ambitions. At the same time, the child hated dancing or music. But not everyone, like that Anya, has the courage to say: “Basta! I will not become great, fuck off, ancestors! " I wrote here about how to accept the fact that your child has grown.

A year ago, I talked with Tsiskaridze, who, if anyone has forgotten, is the rector of the Vaganov School. Nikolai Maksimovich told me about hysterical mothers, how they don't want to hear that their daughter is not good for ballet. That it is better to take her out of school as soon as possible, not to inspire stupid hopes, to come up with other activities. Almost no one takes such words adequately. "You don't understand anything about this!" they shout to the teachers. Yes, they understand something. They know that they have Ulyana Lopatkina at home, and around them there are only sinister and envious people. And they continue to torture their daughter with ballet. She, of course, will dance a couple of times "little swans", but this is where her triumph will end. And the tragedy will begin.

Every time I hear from my parents that they are raising a new Masha Sharapova, I am simply sausage. Masha Sharapova is one, and there are thousands of unlucky girls. Which parents almost hit on the head with a racket: "You will study, you will!" Tennis is great. But as an occupation, as movement, as a way to be in shape. Don't need this wild "Sharapovschina", especially when the coach tells you: it won't work, calm down.

A child is not a set of your wacky ambitions that you put together like a Lego toy. Here is a red cube, and here is a blue one. It is a completely separate character and consciousness. Often the cubes don't add up.

I went through the “School of a Disappointed Father” with my eldest son. Timofey did not show any talents, well, none at all. And it pissed me off. Yes, smart boy, he quickly learned to read, but that's all. But the devils took it apart: I’m a successful writer and journalist, I’m also good at drawing, I play the guitar, so he must be the same. No, it should be better! And this is the worst parental mistake. Trying to cut the child according to your own patterns. On the ridiculous basis that he is yours. Yours, but different. A completely different person. We tried to send our son to sports: no, I didn't want to. We brought him to the famous school of Kazarnovsky, with a theatrical bias, he did not understand why he was here at all. We were desperate: why is our child so incompetent? We ourselves are so bright, interesting, inspired! At the age of 16, Timofey began to tell us that he would be a bus driver,so that we lag behind him. In short, trouble. Plus he was kicked out of school for bad behavior. And then I persuaded a friend from television to take his son to me, as an errand boy, come on, bring me. Timofey agreed to such a job surprisingly easily. I began to walk regularly every morning, I was very pleased that he earned money himself. He has been there for more than five years, quickly made a career, his bosses adore him. It is very clear, very reliable, very serious.very serious.very serious.

Once there was a funny incident. The director suggested that he appear in the frame, bring something to the presenter promptly: there is an infotainment broadcast, create a sense of dynamics. And Timofey refused. I was indignant: how so, the whole country would see you, fifteen seconds of glory every day! The complexes of the “disappointed father” continued to smolder in me. Tim shrugged, “Dad, I just don't want to. I do not need it". Then I finally realized that this is a completely different person. And the person is much more mature and wiser than me, paradoxically.

Now I am ashamed to remember all my pathetic abuse with my son. How I wanted to cut a doll out of him in my own image and likeness. Yes, he did not become a writer and artist, he just became a very good person.

With my two youngest daughters, I no longer repeated these nonsense (I talked about my rules for raising daughters here).

Back to the beginning. What did I say to my friend about my youngest daughter. No, I don't think she's a genius. She is a very cool girl, she draws and fantasizes funny, she and I compose a whole saga about two fat dogs. But I understand that Kira does not stand out in any way among her peers. Maybe later something will manifest itself, we will always help her, direct her, encourage her. Only without the hysterical quest for genius. She draws, but which of the children doesn't draw? I don’t stick her pictures to everyone, I don’t post them on Facebook. Kira went to dances, but she quickly got tired of it, and we didn't force her. Maybe, in vain, maybe it was necessary to drive with kicks, through tears, maybe the world has lost a great ballerina. But there will be others, I am not worried about the future of the Bolshoi Theater.

And we don't need a great ballerina, we just need a happy daughter.

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