Don’t Give Kids What You Didn’t Have Without Giving Them What You Did

“I just want my kid to have everything I didn’t have.”

While progress comes in many forms, not all forms are beneficial. You can progress more swiftly downhill than uphill, so take care believing progress is always a good thing. Like all things, it is what you do with it that makes it a powerful element in life.

Loving your children is quintessential for their growth and development, but how you show that love has a profound effect on their evolution. Are you loving them by providing an easy life that offers them no opportunity to develop the grit and creative problem solving? The same kinds of situations which might have gotten you to where you are in life? Are you offering them no ability to struggle, which keeps them from experiences vital to their ability to adapt to different situations?

Good parents want what’s best for their children, but our society has lost perspective on how important struggle and conflict are to individual development.

Parents can be detrimental to their own children if they believe keeping their own children from difficulty is good for them. Humans of all walks require struggle; it forces individuals to test belief, sharpen knowledge, expand the ability to create solutions to new problems and support development of clear identity. Our society suffers without these individual capabilities.

Many youth today suffer without clear identity. Without such clarity, they will search different political ideologies, genders, orientations and even question whether they’re even human. While the “transspecies” movement is very small, it illustrates shows a severe lack of self knowledge among millennial youth.

Self knowledge comes from struggle, and our youth have been infantilized without it.

Dear parent, don’t forget the benefit of your own youthful struggles. What you faced when young made you into the person you are. All those strengths you attribute to your own character are there BECAUSE of the need to adapt and overcome. Keeping your children from all struggles so they can “have what you didn’t” is more detrimental than you know.

As a parent, you can lead your children into situations that challenge them without damaging them. If you don’t allow struggle in your child’s life, they will find struggle to uncomfortable to face it, themselves.

As individuals run from challenge, so will society as a whole.

Social change is more in a parent’s hands than any school or government; unless you let schools or government raise your children. So go, raise your children, guide them into and out of difficulty and struggle. If you stay with them from beginning to end, they will have what you might have lacked most — an engaged parent.

It is not for us to keep our children from all harm, but to inoculate them against tragedy by wisely guiding them into trouble from which they learn how to avoid even worse.

I believe a parent’s first responsibility is to teach their child to live without them. That doesn’t mean casting the child to their own wiles before they’re ready, but to frame parenting so that the child becomes as capable as quickly as possible. That’s an age-appropriate focus, so I’m not making my 6-year-old move out, but through chores and challenges, the children do exactly what all children were born to do: mature.

If you don’t parent your children to prepare to be adults, then you must ask some difficult questions:

  • Why did you have kids?
  • Do kids exist merely to live as kids?
  • Are you trying to give your kids the childhood you always wanted?
  • In so doing, are you not giving your children the childhood they need?
  • The majority of our humanity is spent as adults, why do we worship youth?
  • Are you preparing your children to be the most-capable adults?
  • Do you even know why you exist? If you don’t, how can you expect them to?

Parenting is ultimately a mix between minding and mentoring. Mind your children by caring for needs they are incapable of handling while mentoring them in skills for which they are. Over time, and likely sooner than you might wish, they work toward becoming adults-in-training to being adults.

RAISE your children. That’s positively progressional and requires experiences that teach each child how to live on their own. If you’re not teaching them to live without you, then are you really just raising pets?

#parenting #parentlife #raisingchildren

 

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