Edit ModuleShow Tags

No Talent for Truth

Parental Indiscretion


Published:

Our son was a newborn when American Idol became a craze more than a decade ago. Greg and I watched the auditions and gawked at the hopefuls who waited hours in line for their chance to hit it big, only to learn from the merciless Simon Cowell that they have not one iota of vocal talent.

We were mesmerized by these poor souls who had no idea they couldn’t even carry a tune. “Don’t these people have friends?” we wondered. I found it especially curious when parents were there. Did these parents knowingly set up the kids for
humiliation, or did their love for their children blind them to what’s so obvious to the rest of us?

Greg and I vowed to be clear-eyed and objective with our kids. We’d never give phony praise or engage in the hyperprotective parenting that creates tender egos, raising kids who can’t function in the workplace without Mommy there to cheer them on.

But eight years later, Ben started baseball and became an aspiring Major League player. Georgia, meanwhile, decided she wants to be a pop star.

Neither displayed a natural gift for their chosen profession, but both were eager for reassurance that they had the right stuff. How do you tell kids with big dreams that, well… they kinda suck?

It seemed crucial to check Ben’s fantasies when he explained he didn’t need to concern himself with schoolwork, since he wanted to be a MLB player. We suggested he get a backup plan.

How do you tell kids with big dreams that, well... they kinda suck?

Then Georgia signed up to perform an Adele song (ADELE!) for the school “Talent” Show. (Yes, I put quotes around talent. Don’t judge. YOU DON’T KNOW WHAT I’VE SEEN!)

Me: “Um, honey, shouldn’t you choose a song that’s a little less… well… challenging?”

The diversionary tactic did not work. So we told them that all they needed to achieve their dreams was to work really, really hard! Nothing makes our kids drop the subject quicker than the suggestion there’s work involved.

“You think great singers just walk up onto the stage and belt it out?” I asked Georgia. “No! They practice for hours a day. They train.”

And for the first time ever, our kids decided to listen to us. The World’s Laziest Children got to work.

Ben got picked for a Little League team with a tough, serious coach and practiced like a champ. Georgia spent hours in front of the mirror, practicing and taking my constructive feedback to heart.

And then: They got better. A lot better.

The kid with poor eye-hand coordination has made some great plays at second. Georgia’s performance in the “Talent” Show made me envision a day when, with enough training, she could be Auto-Tuned into pop semi-stardom.

My kids finally learned that the only defense against the world’s dream-crushing forces is hard work. Because sometimes, hard work looks a lot like talent.

Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags

More »Related Stories

San Diego Symphony Launches Sensory-Friendly Concerts

The new series is aimed at families with children on the autism spectrum

'Ultimate Dinosaurs' Exhibit Brings Rare Breeds to Life at theNAT

Augmented reality technology allows visitors to see full-size replicas of dinosaurs

I Tried It: Kid Yoga

Kids can enjoy a mindful moment at If I Was a Bird Yoga in Del Mar. Parents optional!
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Most Popular

  1. 103 Dishes to Eat in San Diego before You Die
    Here's Made, our little black book of San Diego's best food
  2. San Diego Magazine's Travel Awards
    Cast your vote now for your favorite hotels, travel companies and attractions
  3. Why Restaurants Are Adding a Surcharge, and Why Diners Should Gladly Pay It
    Restaurateurs are finding ways to deal with the challenges of the minimum wage hike
  4. The Dog Lover's Guide to San Diego
    Here are 52 ways to experience San Diego with your four-legged friend
  5. 67 San Diego Holiday Traditions You Don't Want to Miss
    'Tis the season for fa-la-la fun in San Diego
  6. Meet the Founders of the New Officine Buona Forchetta
    Native Italians Matteo Cattaneo and Mario Cassineri talk recipes, family-friendly dining, and the virtues of good bread
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Promotions

Go Ahead... Ask McMillin!

At McMillin Realty, we are encouraging you to bring us your real estate questions. We will answer these questions….. for free.

Not Your Grandma's Orthotics

New year, new – shoe? Staying on your feet for long hours at a time just got a whole lot more comfortable with Wiivv’s BASE custom insoles
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit Module
Edit Module

Connect With Us:

Edit ModuleShow Tags

Sponsored

Enter a Drawing You Could Actually Win

There are more than 1,700 prizes in the Dream House Raffle

Buy a Raffle Ticket, Win This Rare Sports Car

Donate to a good cause to seriously upgrade your ride
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit Module Edit Module
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags