Your Tone Of Voice
Says It All
The following sentiment has become the mantra for all good parenting and every interested parent has made this statement, or something like it, in the process of raising their kids:
I want my children to have a better life than I had.
And one of the ways parents help their children attain a better life is to help them avoid all the mistakes they made themselves. They assume that “mistake free” is equivalent to better. On the surface it sounds smart. Inwardly it feels good.
The reality, however, is that children managed by this rule are not better off. Instead of being better at life they are emotionally inhibited, stunted, crippled or lacking sensibility. Which means guarding them against disheartening moments might do more harm than good. Like many responses to charitable needs, the protective approach to parenting is a short term, knee jerk response which creates long term damage.
We feel better after force-guiding our children around every tripping point but does this make them better at managing life or just more managed? Over-navigating a child’s life might save them from some immediate “toe stubbing” but can it encourage them to develop the watchfulness and maneuverability to avoid future crashes or manage them well if they can’t?
The truth is, the one thing children will not always have is a watchful parent warning them and steering them away from every life sapping experience. And the one lesson every child needs to learn is how to accept and manage their mistakes well.
Parents earned their wisdom through hard knocks. It made them stronger and smarter and they shouldn’t rob their children of the same opportunity. Second hand wisdom isn’t easy to swallow and every wise person knows that… [Read more…]