The sweet little baby you hold in your arms has a big future ahead of him. Mom and Dad both have advanced degrees and so you know that your only child is destined for greatness. But the pressure around you is mounting. Every parenting journal seems to highlight the importance of the “right” schools, and waiting lists are long, even for preschool. Your worry that without the right preschool, your child may not be accepted into the competitive elementary in your community. This may ultimately affect your child’s ability to gain entrance into the prestigious high school and Ivy League university of her choice.
Slow down. Breathe deeply. Let’s begin again. The sweet little baby you hold in your arms has a big future ahead of her. She is surrounded by family members who love her and they are determined to make her life as stress-free as possible. She will participate in play groups with children of diverse parents, perhaps in your church or your neighborhood. She will learn about compassion and working with others to create elaborate play projects. Her preschool will allow her to experiment with ideas and objects; perhaps enhancing her interest in science, mathematics or the arts. She will attend one of the neighborhood schools, and your participation in her education will ensure a high-quality learning environment for all of the children. Unbeknownst to you, the high school in your own community is noted for producing aspiring scientists with critical thinking skills and also boasts a fine drama program that facilitated successful careers of many an actor. Her university career will be based on her dreams, not yours, and you will burst with pride someday as the letters MS or PhD appear after her name.
Slow down. Give yourself some time to enjoy all that she is today. Watch for her first smile. Celebrate the hard work of lifting her head for the first time. Allow for digging in the dirt, watching the bugs on the sidewalk, and days and nights of endless stories and cuddles. This is the real “stuff” of childhood, the things that will give her the chance to be that successful entrepreneur you dreamed of. With this foundation of support, your little genius will have the resilience to stand up to the playground bully, the academic gifts to take the most challenging high school courses and the competitive edge to navigate higher education and the workplace. And it all started with your unconditional love.