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Teen Voice - 11/25/2012

Parental Success
updated: Nov 24, 2012, 5:00 PM

By Kelsey Abkin

As a parent, one signs a contract agreeing to dedicate their lives to their children. Even if it means entering sleep deprivation as you stay up late mulling over what you may have done wrong only to find out you really have no idea what wrong is when it comes to parenting. With this in mind it seems fair enough that the kids should hold up their end of the deal and become the best versions of themselves.

However, the problem lies in the fact that some parents measure this "best version" using success. It is a dangerous term to throw at your children as the definition of success is fickle and therefore easily overlooked, or even worse taken too seriously. My mother always tells me the key to success is education, following the designated route toward the best college in order to obtain the best job possible. But see, I view success differently and it is this disparity that accounts for the countless arguments between us.

It seems to me the reason we all strive toward challenging objectives is to feel accomplished. Through school, we are taught that the more prominent our goals are, the more likely we are to be successful. However, this is not the case. Formidable goals allow a great amount of room for failure and little for success. Our education system is overflowing with good intentions yet manages to take the prime years of our lives that should be the most carefree and memorable and fill them with a collection of stress and a neurotic fear of failure. Success is a term full of contradictions, urged by all respectable educators and parents, yet full of risky repercussions. It seems that if we instead judged success by happiness it would not only relieve children of an over-whelming pressure, but also alleviate parents' fear that their children will fail.


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