Generally, all parents want to see their kids succeed in life. Parents do all to make sure their kids get the best in everything; academics, lifestyle, career etc just to make the kids as comfortable as they can get.
But often times, parents stunt maturity as they remove failure and disappointment, pain and heartbreak, believing it just might ruin their children’s self-esteem if they experience these things. We live in a world that believes in removing all pain from our children’s lives.
This doesn’t mean kids do not need to feel special and believe they can be successful. But this doesn’t mean they should be shielded from reality, however the opposite is true. Genuine, healthy self-esteem develops when caring adults identify children’s strengths but also allow them the satisfaction and maturity that come from persevering through failure, pain and disappointment.
This authentic triumph builds tough emerging adults. Times are changing. The culture now is quite different of that of the 90’s-where happiness is a goal instead of a by-product. Who doesn’t want their children to be happy? Especially when it comes to the big decisions in their lives like whom they marry, their career path, their faith and values. Yet we as parents often don’t know how to balance wise counsel with our yearning for our kids to be happy.
Allowing kids to face reality creates resilience, strength and confidence. There are some well-intentioned yet misguided ways that parents often shield their kids from the realities of life. These parenting mistakes should be avoided so kids gain the strength they need to thrive no matter what comes their way.
The most common mistake made by parents is when they can’t stand to see their kids fail. Life teaches lessons in a way that parenting sometimes cannot. As parents, we must embrace the reality that character, faith and resilience are often developed through failure.
Identify opportunities to allow your children to take calculated risks, to experience outright failure on a project or in a class, a hobby or a sport. You can always advice and lead them, but don’t intervene and do it for them. Let them build emotional muscle that is capable of enduring a failure and seeing that they can live through it.
Secondly, most parents value removing all pain in any way they possibly can. You’re a parent, and it is okay to be a comforter to your child in times if pain, however do not mistake the role of comforter as being one who removes all discomfort. Pain is often a valuable gift of life. It teaches how to avoid harmful situations.
Real harm only results if we fail to heed what the pain is telling us to do. We need to collaborate with our children to help them navigate through the pain, empower them to deal with the heartache that accompanies life, and encourage them to remain grateful and content. This equips our future adults to stand strong in difficult moments. You don’t always have to help out every time. Let them handle things themselves, especially for the male children; they should “man-up” and deal with it.
In addition to the aforementioned, parents prioritize happiness itself as a selfish pleasure. Life is quite a paradox. If happiness is the goal for our kids, we will keep creating avenues to make them happy no matter the situation.
Lastly, parents take away the fight. Kids need to understand that this life requires struggle in order for maturity to take place. Kids need to understand that facing and overcoming adversity conditions would help them to be strong enough to handle what’s ahead. Parents should pause before providing direction or assistance for their children.
It’s normal to want to remove hardship, but it’s not in their best interests. Encourage them that they have what it takes to overcome adversity. When you give kids the freedom to fight and fail and find their way through the pain of life, you’re not hurting them, rather, you’re helping them build the strength required for them to soar in the future.