When your children play sports, practice the piano or take lessons, do they do it for themselves? Or do they do it for you? As much as you want your children to succeed, and as hard as you push them to accomplish their goals, Dr. Robin says it's time for a reality check.
Dr. Robin says extracurricular activities are beneficial for children, but your best intentions can go awry if you pressure your children too hard to do something that they don't want to do. Whose lives are your children living? Do they play soccer because they love it, or because it was your dream? Do they play the piano because you want to be seen as a perfect and dedicated parent?
"We don't own our children," Dr. Robin says. "We think we do. We think that they're here to actually live our dreams, they're here to live out what we couldn't, they're here to make up for all the things that didn't go right in our lives and our childhoods. But the truth of the matter is that that's not why your kids are here and that's not their purpose. They have a unique and a divine assignment that is simply just for them."
Dr. Robin suggests taking an honest look at whether you're making enough room for your children to grow into who it is they really want to be, that they're doing activities that make them feel alive.
"The best direction we can give them is to help them find their own authentic voice, their own authentic sound, their own authentic passions and desires and longings—not yours," Dr. Robin says.
Printed from Oprah.com on Sunday, December 8, 2013