By Melissa Ford
Yesterday, I attended the showing of "Race to Nowhere" at Roosevelt Middle School along with parents, teachers, social workers, and community members. The movie shared stories about teens taking multiple AP courses with hours of homework, fourth graders forgoing play so they can be tutored after school, and middle-schoolers losing interest in learning as they crumble under the pressures to achieve.
Most of us (parents and children) have bought into this out-of-control culture of competition and achievement. It defines who we are, how we live, and ultimately, the career paths many of us pursue. The movie proposed that we combat this culture by redefining success.
Is success . . .
- being accepted into top universities or attending the college that fits you and your interests?
- volunteering for a community project to enhance your college resume or because you’re interested in service?
- playing after elementary school with friends or doing hours of homework?
- being your child’s homework taskmaster or enjoying your family time together?
If you redefine success for your child - what would your new definition be? How would his/her stress levels decrease? What new values would you be teaching your child? How would his/her life and your family life improve?
Start the conversation in your home about redefining success! Start it up in your school community by hosting this compelling movie. For more details go to: