On FOMO and Pushing Your Kids

My daughter decided not to do theatre camp this summer. No weeks of day long rehearsals, costume fittings, dress rehearsals, or final bows. All I can think is what if this was the play she needed to do to land a main stage show? What if this was the play that was going to ignite a real love of theatre? What if? What if? Girl is 8 years old and she could honestly not care less about any of these things. She has a busy summer with dance and she didn’t want to commit. Easy peasy. Decision made. It’s ME who is dwelling on the ‘what ifs’, not her.  I know in my own logical mind that her not playing an Oompa Loompa this summer in a kid’s musical is not really going to effect her future in any way, but my nonsense mom brain always kicks into over drive and I get a wicked case of FOMO: fear of missing out.

Parenting is hard. Yeah, I could just leave it at that. Or I could write 100 posts about 1,000 different ways it’s hard but this time  I want to talk about pushing your kids. It’s such a fine line.  On one hand, if you know your kids loves something and/or does well at it, you definitely want to encourage them to do that activity, On the other hand, pushing too hard and making them do too much could have the opposite effect and they could pull away from it. But then that begs to question, would that be such a bad thing? Is it really going to matter in the long run if they don’t take that 6th hour of dance during the week or get on that travel basketball team? Are you molding your kid into what you want them to be or are you  helping them to enjoy life and find things they love to do? Is your kid in piano lessons because you want them to go to Juilliard and be a world famous pianist? Or is it because you want them to do well at something they enjoy? It’s a tough call. Everyone thinks their own kid is amazing and in their own ways they are.  I think, as with all things in life, you need to look at your ‘why’. Why are you pushing?

So our summer will be just a touch more relaxed. I can mark one place off of all the running we do. My daughter will thrive in dance and not give a second thought to the summer theatre camp. I’m going to do my best to do the same. As parents, we should be trying to help our kids become the best people they can be and not trying to force them into a mold that we have created.


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