I’ve seen this trend in parenting – it’s over-indulgence. I’m not talking from a giving standpoint. No, it’s even more detrimental than that. It’s the idea that if we protect our kids to the point where they never have to deal with emotional pain/disappointment/sadness – that we are better parents for it.
Let us first get on the same page before I explain further.
Can we agree that emotional pain/disappointment/sadness is a natural occurrence in life? I say “natural” because, despite thinking others inflict pain upon us, it’s really ourselves that allow such things to interfere with our psyche.
Based on our own human needs, expectations, etc., disappointments and pain in life are inevitable. Agree? Don’t agree?
Let me share an example of how this idea of keeping our children happy at every turn is doing more damage than good.
You are a school teacher and decide to incentivise reading. The reward for students achieving their reading points is a rootbeer float. The day arrives where the children who earned their rootbeer float, get to enjoy their reward. However, a few children didn’t put in the work to receive the same reward.
Should those children still be rewarded? Is it inappropriate for the teacher to celebrate the effort of the rewarded students in front of the other children?
Although, as the teacher you would feel bad for the other students; however, you get that it’s even more important to raise the bar for the entire class.
Why is it today that there is this idea that happy kids are better off kids?
We LEARN from the disappointments, failures, and sadness in our lives – regardless of age. I’m reminded of a slogan on the back of a wrestling team’s t-shirts that which my son competed against: “There’s no such thing as failure, only learning.”
I feel that parenting/teaching today is harder than ever. I equally feel that growing up today is even more challenging than when I was a kid.
So, how do we, as parents, help each other out?
We teach our children how to deal with the disappointments, failures, and sadness that are inevitably a part of life, by example. We stop the parenting over-indulgence in order to keep our kids happy.
Because LIFE IS NOT FAIR.
The unfairness of life is what reaps us the greatest lessons.
This is the lesson to teach our children. The world does not revolve around us or our immediate needs or desires. We must learn to adapt in order to not just survive…..but thrive.
Otherwise, what do you think our society will be made up of in fifteen years? I’ll tell you: entitled, unmotivated, bratty 20-somethings living with us, the parents. And as I’m getting older and thinking about my children’s generation wiping my ass when I’m old….well, I’m thinking we’ll all be screwed because we’ll be left to our own devices as there won’t be much of an empathetic, compassionate, hard-working workforce out there.
We’re raising the next generation, people. We need to raise the bar – for our own asses sake.