You Don’t Want Them To Say This

It is a hard world out there. It is a competitive world out there. We want our kids to be prepared for it–more than that, we want them to thrive in it. So we push them. We challenge them. From this struggle emerges a competent, resilient, talented person who can handle whatever fate and the future dishes out. Luctor et emergo, as we have said (and carry with us as reminders).

This is good…but it’s also dangerous. Because while it’s true that we are trying to raise adults, we cannot deprive them of this beautiful and unique moment that is childhood. “‘I never was a boy,’ the philosopher W.L. Courtney once observed, “[is] the most pathetic reproach that a son can ever address to his father on the management of his youthful years.”

He’s right. Just as you would never want to hear from your kids that no one prepared them for school or life, you would die inside if they told you that you robbed them of the chance to be a kid. Because you pushed too hard. Because you were too serious. Because you expected too much. Because you worked too much. Because you exposed them to things too early.

They say that youth is wasted on the young. That may be so…but it’s theirs to waste. Not yours.

Don’t steal their childhood. Prepare them to be an adult, sure, but let them be a child while they can.

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