I was looking through some photos at a weird photo site, you know the ones that have hundreds of odd photos, most of which give you a mild jolt of humor, shock, or disgust. Very few photos really have the power to bore through the layers of bulletproof foam covering our brain – preventing reaction.
This photo did it for me. I just can’t get over the sickness that some adults have for treating their kids like shit to meet some expectations they have. My parents weren’t like that – not in any way, but, I saw parents that were. I saw parents that treated their kids as possessions – they did with them as they wished. They forced, tortured really, their kids to become what they themselves never were.
This photo hit me so hard because our American society, and in China, the Soviet Union, hell – maybe every farking country if you really get down to it – overall, condones this sort of child torture. It’s not illegal in the USA – is it? That’s condoning.
This kid might be, what? Three, maybe four? WTF kind of world encourages this?
Why? In the name of sports. Greatness. A symbol of power for the nation. In this case, the caption said it was a Chinese gymnast teacher ‘helping’ his very young student stretch. Obviously the kid is too young to be in the Olympics… but, preparation has to start early if he’s to be the greatest in the world, right? WTF kind of assininity is that?
I guess the first time in my life where I saw kids training way too hard for something as a result of parental pressure (also known as, sadism) was when I was doing biathlons and triathlons in Miami, Florida. I trained at a pool next to the university I was attending and I’d go to swim a mile, sometimes two in short sprints a couple times a week to help prepare me for the swimming portion of the races I entered.
Inevitably I’d be swimming next to one of 20 kids that were there with their coach from school. One 16 yr old boy held many Florida state swimming records. He was amazingly fluid in the water, I’d stop after my workout and watch his form. He was like a barracuda, so smooth and effortless he glided through the water. He did 8 miles every single day. Swimming 8 miles – amazing huh? Anyway…
With the older kids were some younger kids – no more than 12. They were swimming a couple miles everyday whether they wanted to or not. What kid at 12 years old wants to swim a couple miles in a cold pool in December every single day? How many kids are forced to train like this – not just in Florida – but, all over the entire world?
And, WHY? Why do their parents hold them to it? For their own pride…? To make them feel like they did a good job raising a successful child? For their own fame? Tiger Wood’s dad was said to be a sadist about forcing his son to golf and improve on his game. So too were the parents of many young tennis stars. I knew a girl in Tampa, Florida that was sent there from New Jersey to a private tennis academy at 9 years old BY HERSELF to start training to be an awesome tennis player.
Her parents ran strip clubs in New York City and wanted her to become someone successful. She was Korean, not that her background had anything to do with it. There were kids at that academy from Brazil, California, Michigan, and Jamaica that I can remember. I didn’t know very many of them either. Must have been from all over.
What are you doing to YOUR KIDS that’s over the top and beyond common-sense? What unrealized goals of your own do you have them working on so you can feel better about yourself?
What good is a kid that can do 4 back flips in a gymnastics routine if she can’t think of her own father with a smile on her face when she gets older? What good is a kid that can swim 8 miles after he’s done with college? That doesn’t get you very far. What did it do for his personality as he grew up thinking himself a superstar? What did it do to his relationship with his parents?
Pushing kids toward ANYTHING in which they need to work harder than they do when playing is wrong.
This is a Cultural WTF if I’ve ever seen one…
You with me?