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Learning the art of Non-Striving parenting

Do not ask your children to strive for extraordinary lives. Such striving may seem admirable, but it is the way of foolishness. Help them instead to find the wonder and the marvel of an ordinary life. Show them the joy of tasting tomatoes, apples and pears. Show them how to cry when pets and people die. Show them the infinite pleasure in the touch of a hand. And make the ordinary come alive for them. The extraordinary will take care of itself.

William Martin

“The parents Tao te Ching“

The definition of strive includes struggle. It‘s so easy to get hooked into a striving mode with our kids. We want so desperately for them to succeed that we forget to just enjoy the beautiful ordinary that makes up our lives. One summer when my kids were little I signed them up for so many summer classes (swim team, Spanish, art, math, etc.) thinking that this was how they could get ahead. This was a way for them to become better people. Halfway through they were cranky and exhausted and so was I. Driving to one of the classes they asked me “can‘t we just stay home and play?” What a novel idea! Just stay home and play! Learning to enjoy the ordinary is the best gift we can give to our kids. Life is so much more peaceful when we can just enjoy what’s in front of us.


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