Tenacity: What’s a mom to do?
- A young man feels a burning desire to paint. For 20+ years, he studies art, paints, works menial jobs to pay the bills, and calls himself an artist. He never sells a painting. He stays focused on his internal flame, even in the complete absence of any external fanning of it.
Does this dedication, this focus, this single-mindedness make the man a winner or a loser?
- Your best friend fancies herself a dancer. She has unwavering dedication to her practice and to her dream of becoming a professional dancer. However it seems clear to you (and to others) that she has neither the physique nor the talent to achieve her goal.
Would you support her best by encouraging her in this dream or by gently helping her to see other options for herself?
My husband and I watched Little Miss Sunshine awhile back, an utterly fabulous movie that made me think about family, about loyalty, about tenacity, about where we take our cues from, about what we allow to limit us. I laughed and laughed at the various unexpected plot turns and I thought for a long time about the plights of the characters.
The film made me wonder: how do we as parents deal with tenacity in our children? Does unwavering tenacity make a person a winner or a loser? Can one be too tenacious when it comes to a dream?
A child I know has planned out two career options. Plan A is to play for the NFL as a wide receiver, for any team except the Oakland Raiders, because that’s the only team his mother would not be able to cheer for (well, until she’s actually tested). Despite fervent pleas, the boy has not been given permission to play tackle football, and chances are he will not. This has not stopped him from carefully crafting his touchdown dance.
Should football not work out, this boy’s Plan B is to play for the NBA, a nice consolation for not achieving his #1 dream.
This child, while in possession of natural athletic talent and drive, has consistently been in the 30th percentile for height and weight.
What’s a mom to do, I ask you? Feed the dream no matter how unlikely the “come true” part will be? Or be the voice or reason?
Let’s hear your thoughts.
Image courtesy of Stuart Miles / FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Lori blogs from metro-Denver at LavenderLuz.com and can also be found @LavLuz on Twitter. Her book, The Open-Hearted Way to Open Adoption: Helping Your Child Grow Up Whole, written with her daughter’s birth mom, is available through your favorite online bookseller. If you know anyone who is parenting via adoption (open, closed, foster, international) or donor conception (sperm, egg, embryo), or is a birth parent, check this book out as a thoughtful gift, even for yourself.
(Based on a post that originally appeared on LavenderLuz.com)