Saturday, March 27, 2010

Parenting the talent

“Searching for Bobby Fischer” is one of my favorite movie’s on parenting. Josh has fun with chess and his parents love him. Then the parents discover that their child is a chess prodigy. As the simple 8 year old boy wins trophies, the dad becomes more and more consumed with his son’s success.

In scene #1, Dad rebukes a teacher who suggests parents not pressure their child, “He's better at this than I've ever been at anything in my life. He's better at this than you'll ever be, at anything. My son has a gift. He has a gift, and when you acknowledge that, then maybe we will have something to talk about."

In scene #2, Josh is caving in under his dad’s pressure.“Maybe it's better not to be the best. Then you can lose and it's OK”, says Josh.

In scene #3, Mom is sensing that dad is ruining their son, “He's not afraid of losing. He's afraid of losing your love. How many ball players grow up afraid of losing their fathers' love every time they come up to the plate.” “All of them!”, fires back dad. Mom responds, “He knows you disapprove of him. He knows you think he's weak. But he's not weak. He's decent. And if you or Bruce [his coach] or anyone else tries to beat that out of him, I swear to God I'll take him away.”

In scene #4, a broken dad has come full circle back to just loving his son unconditionally, “You know you could give up the game, and that would be all right with me. In fact, I want you to give it up.” “But I can't,"Josh replies.” “Why not?," asks dad. “Because I have to play. I have to,"says a freed Josh.

The family living room is filled with Josh’s trophies. In one of the final scenes, Josh awakes on a Saturday morning to his dad moving the trophies into his room. “I think these are yours," dad says. Again, Josh has fun with chess and his parents love him.

Who judges potential? Our kids do- not us as parents. We’re simply to love our kids wherever they land. Of course, it’s not simple. But it is possible if we let go and let God.

Whatever the area of excellence for your child, let them decide where they’d like to venture with their talent. It’s there’s, not yours. Don't live out your needs through them.

Have fun playing chess!©

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