You could even be the President of the United States of America.
Do you tell your children that they can be anything they set their minds to? Do you seal the deal by rattling off all the things they can accomplish? Climb a mountain, win a gold medal, ace the chemistry exam—all there for the taking, if your child is willing to work hard enough.
The problem is that you can’t do anything you set your mind to, and neither can your kids. Try as they may, my kids will not be six feet tall. They can stretch their muscles. They can wear those insoles in their shoes that claim to increase height. They can even have their knees surgically stretched—ouch!
But the fact is, my kids will never be six feet tall. It’s just not in their gene pool. While it would be super easy for me to break the “you’ll be average height, at best” news, it’s a whole other challenge when it comes to the more substantial parts of their lives.
Do you really think your kid can be president?
Get 10 moms of five-year-olds in a room. The vast majority, even the cynical ones, would probably agree that their child has just as much chance at the oval office as anyone else’s.
Fast forward a decade and our promising five-year-olds have morphed into teenagers. Some of them are ambitious. Others are not. Some of them are courteous. Others are not. Take another mom poll, and I’d guess that 7 out of 10 still believe their child has presidential potential.
Should those other three moms go ahead and tell their kids that the only way they’re getting into the White House is if they pay for a tour? Actually, the White House cut out public tours, so those kids are out of luck.
So, do you still think your kid can be president?
Let’s skip forward another 20 years. The kids (and their moms) are understandably weary of sitting in our little experiment room. On the upside, the kids are 35 years old, the minimum age for the presidency.
How many moms believe that their adult children can still be president? My uneducated guess is 1 out of 10, if that many.
At some point, every mom starts to get the flavor of who her child really is. You might try to fight it, but in the back of your mind you know which of your cherubs is most likely to start a business, go on a mission trip, or rob a bank.
Few children will grow up to be president, that’s clear. Most won’t be president even if they give their best, set their mind to it, and dream big. The question is: do you tell them?
Readers: Could your child be president? Do you tell your kids they can do anything they set their minds to? Is there an age at which you discuss limitations?
Play nice: around here all opinions are respected, encouraged, and appreciated.