When Steffi Graff married Andre Agassi, millions of fans were ecstatic. It was a gene pool that would bring forth champions to rule the 4 countries and billions of hearts for years to come. So when they had two children, Jaden and Jaz Agassi, speculations were ripe about the possibilities of new tennis stars. However, it is clear now that the children of this legendary couple will not be playing tennis, at least professionally. The reason, the champions never encouraged them to take up tennis!
In his book, Agassi made a shocking revelation – tennis is the loneliest of the sports. Both Stephanie and him bonded over the fact that they were made to take up the sport at a very early age. And so, as parents, they decided that they would not do that to their children. As a result, both Jaden and Jaz rarely play tennis.
But the sporting genes are not wasted! Jaden has taken a liking for Baseball, and he is apparently quite good at it! Andre is seen attending his matches as a proud parent, though he leaves the coaching to the professionals. Jaz on the other hand has her own set of activities. As parents, they let the children decide what they wanted to be. So the parents are proud that their children are into arts and music, something they couldn’t enjoy growing up.
What keeps the couple occupied?
They may have retired from tennis, but they are far from leading a retired life. Near Andre’s home town in Las Vegas, the couple has built a school for the poorer section of the society. But this is not just any charity initiative. they are actively involved in the process, and are seen giving tours to politicians and potential donors. The great thing about this school is that it gives a much superior education than the existing public education system, to the children who have minimal access to quality education.
The school provides a good balance between academics and sports, with children playing basketball, baseball to name a few. Tennis court is not in the sight though. Agassi stresses the need for education, and the school has had a great number of students going to college – a testament to the high standards! But, the children are involved in other activities as well, and this picture is a testament to it!
The Agassi Boys (Image source: Facebook)
How to find the right balance in parenting?
Children often take up a lot of initiatives and find it difficult to follow through. In addition, they may not know what is the ‘best’ for them. But how to decide what is the best for them? Do we choose their happiness now by allowing them to work on their avocation, or do we choose their vocation for them?
The answer is not simple. But here are the things that you can do.
- Explore the interests with your kids. If your kid shows interest in something, trust them and explore it with them. Many times, these interests are abstract, but help them put some finite milestones for each. So, if your child is interested in painting, there must be some way to track the progress. Discuss these with your child and help him follow – through.
- Do not stop them from pursuing an interest. The thing about kids is that they would end up doing the exact opposite of what you tell them. So stopping them from taking up a cause is not a great option.
- Always stress on basic education. Children are quite bright. They can manage whatever they want to do with a sound formal education. Stress the importance of basic education, and it will help them in the long run.
- Don’t be negative if your child fails. Failure is the fuel for success. So if your child fails at something, let him feel bad about it, but do not add to his guilt of non-performance. Instead, trust him to take up a better cause next time. Life is not about being an arrow – sharp and pointed in one skill, but it is about being a foundation so that something big could be built upon it!
Mums and dads, be the guide, not the leader in your children’s life.
Source: Herald Sun, Facebook, Twitter, Zimbio
Also read: Sports that your children should try out
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