It’s Hard For All of Us

Gandhi was a man of exceptional patience. He was a man of forgiveness and compassion. He was kind. He was generous. He was better than most of us.

And yet, having kids challenged even him.

As one close friend noticed, Gandhi struggled to accept and compromise with his kids, struggling with understanding them most of all. He had less trouble dealing “with the needs of young children than those of adolescence, with its warring emotions, its struggle for liberty and self-expression, and its developing mind,” she wrote. Gandhi seemed to forget that teenagers are often irrational, that life is confusing, and that the desire and need for independence naturally pits children against their parents. That this was lost on such an ardent freedom fighter is not without its irony.

If Gandhi struggled with this, does it make it hopeless for us? No, but it should be a reminder for a little humility. But also a bit of confidence. Perhaps you can do a better job than even this ‘saint’—remembering that your kids are their own people, remembering that they are going through something quite difficult, and that it’s their life and you have to let them learn and grow and yes, even make mistakes.

This thing is hard for all of us, but we must do our best…and learn ourselves from the failures and shortcomings of those who came before us.

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