“Verruckt” “Insane” is that what we are?

“Verruckt’ means “insane” in German and therefore was used in the naming of the “world’s tallest waterslide.” However,  instead of being acclaimed in the Guinness Book of World Record’s it is shamed with a recent tragic story involving the death of a 10 year old boy. 
This is what we have gotten in our stubborn insistence of deriving self-worth from what we’ve done or accomplished. Professional sports have driven their athletes to ridiculous abusive diets and exercise schedules. NFL players leave brain damaged from concussions. And what about the famous musicians and actors? Do their managers treat them any better?
Parents, please, stop pushing your children in their sports and arts. I understand some of you have dreams of scholarships and beyond. Scholarships are helpful but they also make it hard to study if they’re sports related. They end up on the 5+ year plan. I know because I learned right along with the stars of the 1989 WVU football team in freshman English. I graduated in 1990 and they graduated in 1991 if at all.  If I remember correctly Major Harris left early to turn pro.  Do any of you even know who he is? 
I dated a recipient of a full ride track scholarship for 3/4 years of my undergraduate time.  The friends I made through him on the women’s track team all struggled with eating disorders.  One of my friends on the women’s tennis team reported the same of her team mates. In addition to struggling with her own eating disorder she struggled with her coursework  because of the pressure, practice and travel schedule. 
We would all do our children a better service if we did what Ben Carson’s mom did. When Ben’s grades were the worst in his 5th grade class she decided to take him and his brother to the library each week to get a book to read.  She didn’t listen to the complaints.  She insisted. Do you think Ben and his brother wanted to read if they were struggling at school? I’m sure they would have preferred their electronics too. But reading a book every week was the very answer to their academic salvation and many academic college scholarships offers for Ben.
So scale back the running to rehearsals and practices and add in a trip to the library.  Relax at the game, concert, or show when they fumble and/or someone else’s kids get the accolades instead.  Challenge them to do the best they can, but within reason.  Help them to be good sports and happy for others.  And by all means turn off the electronics including your own.  Take time instead to slow down and listen to your kids instead.


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