Trophy kids. Ever hear the phrase? Macmillan’s Dictionary defines them as “a child whose attributes and achievements are used by the parents to impress other people.” In other words, their parents see their children as nothing more than an extension of themselves. Know any trophy kids? Maybe you’re raising one. Maybe you are one. I get it; we want the best for our kids, but often it’s for all the wrong reasons. We go woefully awry when all of our choices as parents are about our kids.
David Goetz, in one of his books, talks about a time when his kindergarten-age daughter stumbled in reading something in class, then another child read the same paragraph flawlessly. That night he decided that his child’s reading skills needed to be approached like an NBA championship. In other words, education wasn’t about learning, it was about performing. “My child will get straight As in reading,” he said to himself. Fortunately, he came to his senses before he exasperated his daughter. Parents, don’t make your kids about you. They should never be a walking litmus test of your beauty, or intelligence, or athletic ability, or rank or status. That is the opposite, not the apex, of good parenting. Let me be more direct: “Trophy kids” are produced by unintelligent, unwise moms and dads. Does that make you angry? If it does, there might be a reason.
Here’s one other thing to think about. The best way to not produce a trophy kid is to stop grooming them and start playing with them. They need your laughter, not your constant evaluation. Playing is a form of humility that they desperately need to learn from you. Am I saying, “Just have fun?” Well, yes! In fact, I would put playing with your kids right up there with praying with them. Think about that.
A quality life is not all work and no play. If it becomes that, we desperately need to change. You know something? It’s never too late. Check out this wisdom from Diane Loomis.