Take it easy on kids
Q: In South Korea, parents are so certain that height is crucial to success that they are taking their children to growth clinics. Do certain physical attributes give people an advantage as they strive for success in the workplace? Are short people at a disadvantage in business or politics or other endeavors?
History has shown that being tall helps for election to public office. However, I do not think height has anything to do with success in business or life. Some of the most accomplished people I know are short. They are managers, business owners, public speakers, leaders, top employees at every grade level. Height seems to not be a factor at all.
I don't agree with the tactics the Koreans are using to encourage growth. They accompany the stress that Asians often put on their children to achieve high grades and get into top schools. I've also read how parents in some Asian countries commit suicide if their child isn't accepted into the "right" school.
How fortunate to have been born an American and to not have that pressure. Yet, I do see other pressures here in our country that I have trouble with. For example, many parents push their children very hard in sports. Some children are involved in more than one sport a season, pushed to always win and play hard, and coached from the sidelines by mom or dad. It can seem that parents want their success more than the child does.
My whole family played soccer. None of my kids play soccer. Yes, I enrolled them in soccer, but they didn't like it. My son prefers tennis, in which he has excelled. My daughters like figure skating. I've noticed that some people don't respect figure skating as a sport. What is a mom to do? I refuse to force them to play a sport they don't like. It's important to allow children to select their own sports, and I will support my kids in their choices.
On the flip side of the question: What about the issue of being too tall! My 10-year-old daughter is a foot taller than anyone in her class. She towers above her 13- and 12-year-old siblings! Because of her height, people assume she is older and it's difficult to find age-appropriate clothing for her. Being too tall is uncomfortable for a young girl and it often creates a lifetime of stares and wardrobe challenges.
In 2010, I hope the world will be more accepting of people for who they are and not how they look!
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