Dear Granddaddy, I’m afraid that my child won’t get the education and opportunities he needs to reach his full potential. Carey C. – worried mom.
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Carey, I hear you and I think a lot of us parents are worried during these tough economic times. If we’re struggling, and we are older and wiser than our kids, then it’s only natural to feel like they are really going to struggle too. Plus, it’s in our DNA to worry about our kids. That’s what we do. You know, I can still remember when I used to be a lot braver as a younger man. But then I had kids and this big tough guy became a little worried. Almost everything scares me now, or at least a little bit.
In addition, educational and enrichment products are pushed hard to parents, and some are worthwhile. Others, however, don’t add enough benefits to offset the environment of fear that some marketers create when they tell us that our children won’t get into a good college or have a good life, without them. Hey, doom and gloom sells, and it’s especially effective when it targets our natural inclination to protect our kids.
Furthermore, sometimes less can be more. A recent study showed that today’s kids get about seventy toys a year. That’s a lot. Research demonstrates that kids with fewer toys have better chances of developing their imaginations and resourcefulness. In addition, other studies have also shown that parents who didn’t hover over their kids, directing and doing everything for them, raised kids with better imaginations and resourcefulness.
In today’s challenging economy, I think most of us can agree that we need to develop our children’s imaginations and resourcefulness. Frankly, it’s a necessity. And the good news is that we can do it with less.
So, in closing, Carey, it’s only natural for you to worry about your child. However, chances are that our children are going to turn out okay and go on to live pretty good lives as long as we don’t let ourselves and their toys get too much in their way.
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Dan Blanchard is an award-winning author, speaker, and educator who has appeared on over 100 television and radio shows. To find out more about Dan or to submit a question to him, please visit him on his website at: www.GranddaddysSecrets.com.