Inspiration from the Olympics – 4
The word ‘syndrome’ connotes symptoms in a person (usually medical) that are noticed by other people, and I am probably not using it in very good context here, but it serves my purpose. This Olympic reflection is specifically written for parents and looks closely at what I have termed the TDD Syndrome or it full name the ‘Thomas Daley Drawing’ syndrome.
I wonder if you have seen or heard about the drawing, Tom Daley drew when he was 9 years old. His father had told him that London was one of the candidate cities for the Olympics in 2012. So he went upstairs and drew a picture of himself, doing a handstand at the London 2012 Olympics.
It sends shivers down your spine when you realise that:
1. London had not even won the bid
2. He hadn’t won any major (national) competitions at the time
3. He was only nine years old
But what made that dream come true? I believe that one of the factors was his family’s recognition of his talent and their willingness to support and encourage him while providing a normal childhood.
So, change focus and look into your life, then shift focus and consider your children. Have you learned to recognise their gifts and talents? Have you exposed them to various aspects of life (especially in the west, where there is so much opportunity)?
Do you have preconceived notions of success in your head? In my parents’ ideology, it was being a doctor or lawyer. Speaking to friends, it’s now music and football. I am sure with the Olympics many parents are trying to point their children towards athletics.
Maybe it’s time to cultivate the TDD syndrome. Give your child some space, watch prayerfully and with wisdom, encourage talent, give them outlets, operate out of the boundaries of your culture. Allow TV be an education enabler, not a moral signpost. And if they show promise in one area, don’t neglect the others. They still need good GCSEs, an ability to make decisions, to believe in themselves. It all matters.
The TDD syndrome exists and it may be closer to you than you think.