All Their Dreams Are A Parent’s Fears

There is an inherent tension, a conflict of visions even, at the heart of every family. They want to live happy, fulfilling, interesting lives, and as the parent…you want nothing bad to happen to them ever. Sure, you want them to be happy and have fun, but most of all, more than anything, you want them to be safe.

As we’ve said before, our job as parents is to root for them. It’s to encourage them to become what they are, to fire them with the ambition to be useful–to stretch and reach their potential. To let them fail and learn, help them develop courage and resilience. This is difficult to do under the most perfect of situations…it’s made harder still when we face the facts of what this means in practice:

  • Letting them jump off something into a lake?
  • Play some dangerous sport?
  • Dropping out of college to pursue a longshot opportunity?
  • Moving in with someone they’ve fallen in love with?

In Morgan Wade’s new song, she has a line about how “All of your dreams are your parents fears.” This was true when you were a risk-taking, hard-headed, not-so-bright kid yourself. It’s true with your own kids. The things that light them up, that are worth pursuing in life? None of them come without risks. It’s worth saying: the good life is on the other side of risk. No one gets it by playing it perfectly safe and protecting themselves from anything that can hurt them. Your perfectly normal desire to protect your kids is inherently at odds with a great life.

This won’t be an easy tension/paradox/torture to navigate…but you’ve got to figure it out.

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