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Not Everyone Gets A Trophy

September 8, 2011

Nothing is more daunting that becoming a parent.  Everything else in life for the most part comes with an instruction booklet or a study guide or a reference site.  Parenting is truly one things you have to make up as you go along since every child and situation is different.  Sure they are books but they are written by people who have never met your kid and do not understand that milk is only acceptable in the yellow cup and not the purple one.

This afternoon I waded through a long article talking about how parents who are too perfect can send their kids straight to the therapist’s chair.  Apparently some parents shield their children from any kind of negative experience be it crying after a skinned knee, not getting a good part in the school play or making their child think they are good at everything.  This produces a young adult who cannot cope with disappointment and they eventually melt down when they receive their first B+ in college.  The article noted that parents should allow their kids to learn to overcome obstacles on their own, to cry a little bit when they fall, and to learn that they are better at some things than others.

Growing up my parents let me try anything that I wanted but did not push me.  I quickly learned as a 5’2″ sixth grader I was not cut out for basketball when I got schooled in a rec league game by guys who were pushing 6′ and were twice my size.  After I dislocated my thumb on a ball my dad helped me pop it out and told me maybe basketball wasn’t my sport.  No sugar-coating there, and I appreciated it because he was right.

Thankfully for our kids Becky and I are both honest.  We will be supportive of our kids but I am confident we are not going to raise two people who think they are entitled to success.  I’ll let you know how we do in about 18 years.

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