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They Say: Leave Those Kids Alone

practice-pianoAll the world’s a stage, but a new study says stage parents are the reason kids abandon their passions.

Looking at musicians and athletes ranging from six to thirty-eight, researchers at the University of Montreal wanted to determine how much autonomy kids should have in pursuing their hobbies.

The result?

They found controlling parents either drove their kids away from a hobby or, if the kids did become passionate, drove them to become obsessed.

It’s a tough balance for parents to strike. We want our kids to learn the art of perseverance. We don’t want them to quit simply because they aren’t getting their way. Often pushing them to stick with it just another game or practice allows them the chance to finally “get” how to make that jump shot or master “Three Blind Mice.”

Besides, when you’re paying for a whole season of soccer, it’s hard to stomach your daughter bailing out after the fifth practice.

But with each study like this that chops away at those helicopter parent proclivities, maybe kids will make it after all. Now, will someone send this study to the parents who already signed their thirteen-year-old up for a USC football scholarship?

Image: tachyondecay, flickr

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