Children are born with certain tendencies, strengths, and weaknesses that evolve with time. There are numerous events that may alter or impact the trajectory of their future. The death of a loved one, a powerful person in their life, an accident, or a world calamity like a war or economic collapse can alter the child’s life.
The life of a person does not follow a predictable, straight line. It has many unexpected detours that change the path and even the person’s personality. No fortune teller or rich, dominant parent can predict the future of their child. Life offers many surprises.
Too many of today’s parents want to micromanage their child’s life. They have little faith in them to learn from their own life experiences. These parents want to know and control every aspect of their child’s development, including whether an adult or another child treated them unfairly.
Instead of telling their child that they can handle this specific situation by themselves, they immediately get an appointment with the coach or school to intervene in solving the child’s perceived dilemma with another child or their loss of playtime. Any difficult situation from the child’s perspective becomes the parent’s responsibility. They think they need to smooth the waters for the child to have time to become more competent in a host of areas.
There is an overwhelming need for modern parents to protect their children from adversity. This demonstrates parents’ fear that their child is naïve or not resilient enough to learn from adversity or to withstand rejection by another child or adult.
In a person’s life, many of our most impactful learning experiences come with pain. Working to reach a higher academic level or gain expertise in one’s professional career takes effort, stress, and diligence. Learning to improve in all facets of life teaches us that we are not as perfect as we thought. Unfortunately, this is necessary for them to improve and become more competent in many areas.
Parents have to stop trying to create a world that has no obstacles for their child’s development. The only way a child can become an independent adult is to learn from observation, through their own experiences and those of others, and from their own decisions. Our failures are great learning experiences. Realizing what not to do is often more valuable than what to do, especially in a complex society where evil is prevalent. Young children must learn that cheating and many other behaviors, such as sexual permissiveness, taking drugs, and lying, can destroy the future of a person.
Overprotective and overcontrolling parents often do not give their children an opportunity to learn on their own from social difficulties. These children will have a difficult time learning to be open and resourceful when solving their own problems. Many of these children depend on their parents to guide them during difficult periods. Therefore, they will not perceive themselves as independent adults who can make positive decisions on their own. In essence, they will forever be dependent on their parents for guidance and insight.
The reality of being dependent on parents for one’s lifetime is that parents usually die significantly before their children. No matter how much a son or daughter wants to keep in contact with their parents, death has a high probability of ending this hope.
This modern generation of parents does not appear to understand that their major responsibility as parents is not to pass on their wealth to their children but to give their children the insights and knowledge to assist them in living a successful and happy life.
Modern parents should learn to be mature enough to understand that life is short, with difficult episodes. Parents should be honest about their struggles in overcoming difficult financial, health, mental, and physical issues. These difficulties should be shared with their children so that they understand that they can do the same when they face these problems. Parents sharing their overcoming of problems is a great gift to give one’s children.
Modern parents should give their children the knowledge to deal with adversity instead of attempting to protect them from confronting it. Protecting them from any unfairness, including group discipline that the student feels is unfair, is a formula that creates a person who is unprepared to face the world.
Domenick Maglio, PhD. is a columnist carried by various newspapers and blogs, an author of several books and owner/director of Wider Horizons School, a college prep program. Dr. Maglio is an author of weekly newspaper articles, INVASION WITHIN and the latest book entitled, IN CHARGE PARENTING In a PC World. You can see many of Dr. Maglio’s articles at www.drmaglioblogspot.com.