Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Should you let your kids fail?

Raising kids is tough.  It is hard work.

When they are newborn they require a lot of attention.  But, hey, they aren't talking back yet.  Their just filling disposable underwear with shit.  And, you get to wipe their ass.

This is the good phase.

Then they start moving around.  You have to block every stairway and electrical outlet in sight.  And, if you miss one, they'll find it.

Then they start to talk.  We think this is a good thing until that start talking back.  Then we blame our partner for the attitude they must have inherited from them.

Finally, you've done enough to allow them, with crossed fingers, to move about in public.  They go to school.  This is supposed to be a place where they go to learn the basics.  We beam with pride as they go off to learn the ABC's and 1,2,3's.  Then they come home with a note from the teacher saying they shouldn't be looking under the walls of the bathroom stall while someone else is in there.  Oh, jeez!

Here is our first weird conversation.  On the inside I'm laughing but keeping a straight face as we talk about the importance of keeping your privates private and respecting other people's privacy.  But Dad, you said to have fun at school today.  It has now begun.

I have now become the reason for anything this kid does good or bad.  And, this is not good.  For me.  Or, for the kid.

Kids need to learn they are responsible for their behavior as early as possible.  Both good or bad.  It is their decision in the moment that determines the outcome.  And, of course they will make mistakes.  They will fail.

I think we should let kids fail early and often.  Failure is a great teacher.  Parents should act as guides.  We should give them a soft place to land when they fail.  And, we should help them learn from their failures.  Whatever they are.

Helicopter parents that set their kids up for success are actually setting them up for failure.  Life is tough.

When would you want your kid to learn a hard lesson?  When they live with you and can find sanctuary to process it?  Or, when they are older with a job and bills to pay.

By the way, the kids with a job and bills to pay that do fail, often end up back at home with their parents.  Back with the parents who set them up that way.  Does that sound like success?

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