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Sometimes, you have to love the people you love less. You have to let them grow on their own without saving or solving them.
As I get older, parents seem to be doing more and more for their kids, and it feels to me like they're often stepping over the line.
One time, I was driving my son to school and I distinctly remember telling him "I'm not a limousine or taxi driver. You know where the school bus can pick you up. Just because mom drives you and makes you breakfast all the time doesn't mean I will! I'm sure you have friends whose mothers can pick you up. Don't count on going to my room and waking me up this early every day!"
In retrospect, I really did love taking my kids to school. I wish I did it more often. My mom never took me to school, and I learned so much going to school on my own every day. Some days I'd take the bus, some days the train, and some days I'd walk with my friends.
Ultimately, I wanted my kid to figure out how to get it school. Things happen. Cars break down sometimes. It's a good time, at that age, to develop more of a realistic perspective.
"But dad, school is almost a mile and a half away," my son Crosby would often respond.
I know in this day of age, it may not be safe, but you have to let your kids solve things on their own from time to time without constantly holding their hands. My kids will claim to be adults, but still ask me to help pay tuition for college. If you can relate, here's my suggestion: turn the tables on your kids.
If they want financial help, they will have to deal with some of my opinions from time to time in exchange. If they're asking for financial help, chances are they probably need more help as well, which is something I'd be happy to lend to them.
To quote a friend, sometimes you just have a hard time telling your kids "no". Instead of saying no, I recommend you say "right now I can't really help with that". Will I leave my kids destitute on the street? Absolutely not, but it's important for them to understand how some things work.
Most parents want their kids to have it better than they did. They feel guilty about it, and that guilt guides a lot of their parenting decisions.
My goal as a parent is to communicate to my kids how I got to the place I'm in so that they can learn how they can get better themselves. I firmly believe that getting kids to understand the benefits of the adversity I faced was the message that was toughest to communicate.
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Quote of the Day: "When we don't allow others to suffer the consequences of their actions we cripple them emotionally. We deprive them of the ability to learn from their mistakes. We also take away the ability to overcome their problems and change their life for the better." - Randi G. Fine
Song of the Day: "The Heart of the Matter" by Don Henley