Sunday, April 25, 2010

Lessons For Kids

You know who can take a long walk off a short pier? Parents who help their kids sell chocolate bars for school fundraisers.

First, kids order chocolate bars to sell for the fundraiser. They're supposed to sell them to family, friends, neighbours. Sometimes, out of desperation or genius, they'll hawk them to complete strangers outside a mall or plaza. They put in an a solid effort to sell those chocolate bars.

Then there are the parents who take their kids' chocolate bars to work and sell them to all their co-workers and their families. Smart idea. But, since when is it your responsibility to make your kid look like an overachiever? Do you want do do his homework for him too? Maybe continue doing everything for him for the rest of his life so he never has to try, fail at or learn anything? This "Don't worry about it hunny, let me take care of that for you while you play Xbox" school of thought does nothing to help develop a child's self-esteem or interpersonal skills.

I once had my boss come around the office and collect donations for his kid's fundraising. It must have been for charity because I never actually 'bought' anything. He just said we had to donate, so I, the lowest-paid employee there, begrudgingly reached into my pocket and gave him $10 (In this case, if his kid had been the one to come around asking for donations, it would have been much easier to say no.)

Back to the chocolate...

The kid who busted his ass at the mall (while building the courage to talk to strangers and honing his sales skills) and sold a measly $100 worth of chocolate (and thinks he's done a good job) is then crushed when he finds out the other kid effortlessly raised well over $500 and has won the brand new bicycle.

What the hell does that teach kids?

"Failure comes from trying really, really hard. Winning comes from doing fuck all."

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