Teen Realities 2

All this week we’re looking at my friend Chap Clark’s five new realities every kid wants us to know. Today, we’re looking at reality number two: that our kids believe their worth is measured by their performance. Chap says that historically, children were valued simply because they were a part of us. But today, as a result of being abandoned, they now have to earn their way into our hearts and minds. But here’s the issue: While we all want our kids to do well, to produce, and to flourish, we have created an environment where our kids see that the only way to get noticed is to succeed at what the adults in your life want from you. For example, when a child is playing soccer and his dad only looks up from his cell phone when he scores a goal, the child is learning that dad’s attention is hinged on scoring a goal. When this lesson is repeated, it becomes ingrained. The message for adults is clear: expect kids to do their best. But we must love them, care for them, and spend time with them simply because they are a part of us.