I don’t believe any of us would really want to leave our kids unprepared for the challenges ahead in adulthood. We want what’s best for them. Truly we do.
But sometimes we do our parenting thing without giving a thought to how our actions right now will play out in their adult years.
Sometimes we coddle and cater to these children God entrusted to us — wanting so badly for them to have this pleasant and lovely childhood, that we never teach our kids how to really live. Because really living sometimes involves doing hard things. “Sometimes” meaning a lot of the time.
Our kids don’t need every battle fought for them.
They don’t need us to make excuses for them.
They don’t always need to be rescued.
They don’t need to sit out of the hard work.
And they won’t benefit from having parents who dismiss the learning experience living with consequences will bring them.
Adults can attest to the fact that living with the effects of our actions is a very real part of adult life. We also know the stakes are higher as we age.
Your kids and my kids will benefit from helping with chores, learning to cook, fighting some of their own battles, sharing rooms with siblings, and loving people who are having a hard time. They also gain from earning privileges, saving money, having responsibilities, and failing at things they set out to do.
Never once have I witnessed a child benefit from having an easy world, void of consequences, handed to them.
Instead of letting them escape the repercussion of their choices, our kids need us to walk beside them as they face them — lovingly, graciously, and without condemnation. And that, my friends is where the hard work lies for us.
Related reading: Your Kid, 10 Years Later