Protect Them From the World or Prepare Them?

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What a parenting topic!?!?! I KNOW! Truth be told I haven’t really felt like a parent the last few months. Further, I haven’t felt like being surround by other parents or their kids either. Not too long ago parenting was a huge part of my life. Now parenting has been reduced to a marginal part of my life that I barely talk about. Anyway enough of the sad stuff let’s talk about the topic at hand…

But first a disclosure…

***This article is not directed at any one person or group of persons. The term “helicopter parent” is used strictly because it is widely recognized. I would never judge anyone for how they choose to raise their kids. Your kids are YOUR kids do what you want. As for me this is just my opinion of a perceived “problem” kids are facing. If anything henceforth upsets you be sure to hit up the comments section below!***

With all that said, let’s get started, finally!

Helicopter parent, who came up with that term anyway?

Defn: “a parent who takes an overprotective or excessive interest in the life of their child or children.”

So basically these parents hover over their children like a helicopter. Other definitions suggest this type of parenting also discourages independence…. Yea, not my deal. I haven’t been nor do I ever want to be that interested in my child(ren). If you are I don’t care that’s cool and if it works for you even better. Let me tell you why I. Just. Can’t. With it…

First is because of my experience with the relationship between success and adversity.

It’s been said that the two are married in life, two sides to one coin if you will. Where you find one you’ll likely find the other. Without one you can’t have the other. Meaning if you are successful you have faced or will face adverse situations. Likewise if you persevere through adverse situations you will have some form of success. This holds true for virtually every area of life. I’ve never met a successful person that hasn’t had to overcome adversity. Well unless they inherited their success. But even then inherited success comes with its own set of problems.

I would love for my kid(s) to inherit my overwhelming success in the future. But that’s not a guarantee.

So while I work toward building a legacy, my plan is to equip my family to build a legacy on their own. Which means… they’re going to have to struggle a bit. Don’t get me wrong I’m not suggesting that I purposefully make my child(ren) suffer. What I’m saying is that I’ll encourage them to come to their own conclusions to life’s problems. Rather than give them the answers. When we give our kids the answers or bail them out too early, they fail to learn important lessons  that come from the struggle. It’s the only mistake I think my own parents have made in raising myself and my brother. If you only knew the situations that I was saved from before I really broke a sweat.

Second is because over protection paints a false reality of the world.

Its funny how society/parenting works. We start off telling our kids that they can be anything they want. And then they hit adulthood and we’re like “get a real job!” What the fuck is a “real job” anyway? Likewise, we keep them out of harm’s way, reward them for doing nothing, and shelter them from the world. Then they graduate high school/college and are faced with reality. Nobody is going to protect them like we do. There are no 8th place trophies in the real world. And many people in this world are miserable assholes…

Why do we let our kids face a hard reality check?

It sounds good to want to put them in the best environment. However, it’s counterproductive if they don’t know what the world is like before it’s upon them. Again I’m not saying to weigh our kids down with the problems of adults. But instead prepare them for the world they will live in. I’ve always looked at my daughter not as a child but as a future adult. So, when I punish or teach her I always keep that in mind. I think to myself, “how will she be able to use this in the future?”  Laugh or say I’m mean if you want but it’s part of the reason I’m not the parent that plays with his kid at the park. When we would go that was her opportunity to make friends on her own. Your parents won’t help you make friends at 25 why should they at 5?

Third is because kids aren’t taught to think or learn in school.

They’re taught to regurgitate info and formulas. Problem solving skills come from from dealing with problems not being told what to do. I remember hard nights doing homework in elementary school. Nights spent redoing assignments that I’d rushed through. My dad didn’t play that shit and that’s why I write well. Because if I didn’t I did the assignment over and over and over again, sometimes to the point of tears. Guess what, I don’t play that shit either. Even when it was just kindergarten homework. Actually, especially in kinder. The first few years of school are the foundation for everything else. If you put in piss-poor effort as an adult there are either consequences or your results are terrible. My daughter has experienced this lesson. You can’t get frustrated and rage quit as an adult so no matter what she will always know to give her best effort.

Now I know I sound militant, harsh even but remember I always have the end in mind. Yes we should let kids be kids have fun and all that but when do we let them grow up? When they hit 18? Their childhood is the foundation for the next ¾ of their lives. Why would we not want that foundation to be as strong and sturdy as possible?

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