Atlantic

Dear kids: I love you, but there are some things you can’t do, no matter how hard you try

Dear kids: I love you, but there are some things you can’t do, no matter how hard you try

Listen, let's be real about a few things: For most of us, no matter how hard we work, no matter how much we train, no matter how hard we want it... we're not going to be professional baseball players.

I know, calm down. This is upsetting for me as well.

Still, what if, by luck, we happened to find ourselves on the field and got a shot at that dream? What if we closed our eyes and wanted it very, very hard, and really believed in ourselves? I have even more bad news. It probably doesn't matter. Playing at that level requires you to be at the intersection of "insane dedication to training to the point of madness" and "winning the genetic lottery."

Still, the entertainment we feed our children will keep telling them, over and over, that they can do everything and anything. They don't have to work hard, they don't have to spend years honing their craft, it's mostly a matter of positive thinking.

It's kind of a cruel message, but it's also realistic. We teach kids that they can do anything they want, but then don't teach them how to fail, and what to learn from it. We don't teach the value of hard work or not being the star of the show.

It's tough to see this "magic feather" trope in movie after movie, and then try to instill realistic messages in your kids. Be a good person, work hard, and you can do great things. But maybe not everything, and not anything.

I read this article and nodded along with every paragraph. This has driven me crazy for years, and I'm glad we're finally talking about it.