There is so much pressure in our American mentality that we have to give children all kinds of experiences and opportunities. If we don’t, we are depriving them of something important.
Every child should learn how to play an instrument. It teaches discipline. They must play sports. Otherwise, how will they learn about teamwork? They need to learn a second language. It makes you smarter. And on and on.
That mentality isn’t exclusive to the U.S. Even as an NGO in Mexico, we can begin comparing ourselves to other ministries, organizations or children’s homes, and think man, we have some serious catching up to do. They’re doing *THIS* for their kids.
We do try to give Roots & Wings’ children a well-rounded education. We try to expose them to new ideas and experiences. We genuinely want to give them every tool we can to help them succeed.
But there are other things that the kids “miss out” on because we are in Mexico or because right now we don’t have the staff, space or resources to offer them certain opportunities.
For example, the kids don’t play a whole lot of sports at Roots & Wings (our yard is SMALL). While we’ve been looking for guitar and piano teachers for months, but we haven’t been able to find someone committed. The logistics of arranging transportation to dance lessons, karate or any other type of extracurricular activities isn’t something we can realistically handle right now.
Does that mean that we are failing them somehow?
We have to keep in mind while all those things are good, they aren’t indispensable.
While they can be beneficial, they aren’t essential pieces to a child’s success.
So when we start to feel the pressure and the panic that our kids are missing out, we have to take a step back and remember what they DO have. What they HAVE learned.
Even if they never learn to play the piano, even if they never master English, they will still have received so many things of much greater value.
They will have learned to be courageous. They will have learned to be kind. They will have learned to remain humble. To be patient. To work hard. To always do their best.
THOSE are the qualities that will make a child successful in this life. And they can be learned in a million different ways.