You’ve Done Your Job

Of course, you want to do everything you can for them. ​You want to help them​. You want to save them. You want to spare them trouble and failure and pain.

But you know that you can’t. You know that it’s best that you don’t try.

The great John Wooden would practice his team hard through the week. He’d run through the plans over and over and over again. Yet as they left the locker room and headed out onto the court for the game, he would say to the team, “Well, I’ve done my job.” He wasn’t going to be micromanaging them from the sideline. It was their turn to do their job.

And so it goes for us as parents. At some point, we have to leave them at the entrance to the school. At their job. With their own finances. With their own children. We can’t solve every problem. ​We can’t prevent everything from going wrong​. That’s their job.

Jessica Lahey’s wonderful book The Gift of Failure (​pick it up at The Painted Porch​) reminds us that by not giving them this chance, by not letting them try and struggle to do their job, we’re actually harming them. We’re setting them up for more failure down the road…and less ability to deal with it.

You’ve taught them. You’ve supported them. You love them. ​You’ve done your job​.

Let them do theirs…and let them do it their way.


Giving children the space to struggle because we believe in them, because we believe even more in what will come out the other side, isn’t always easy—for us or them. That’s why one side of our Luctor et Emergo medallion features the mantra, “good, not easy,” surrounded by three other reminders we parents need each day: “let them struggle,” “show them support,” “help them grow.” Get one to carry around with you at the Daily Dad Store today!

Sign Up to get our FREE email.
One piece of timeless parenting advice, delivered daily.

Sign Up to get our eBook

“20 Things Great Dads Do Everyday”



Recent Posts



We’re going to tackle all the big themes of our time and of all time: Grit. Resilience. Curiosity. Compassion. Character. Unconditional love. Finding purpose. Dealing with stress. Masculinity. Female empowerment. Loss. Stillness. Truthfulness. Initiative. Creativity. Passion. Family. Fun.

Join Daily Dad now and tap into a community of dads all over the world dedicated to becoming the very best dad they can be. you’ll get a daily meditation on the above themes and more.