"Every loving parent would want their children to
Parents instinctively try our very best to protect our children in all possible ways. It is easy to forget that our children are eventually going to be moving out and become independent adults. Being an ex-school teacher myself, I've spoken with countless parents and other school teachers about how children are mollycoddled these days. They grow up with the false sense that they will always be taken care of and will never have to face difficulties as an adult.
Whatever values we want our children to have, we need to nurture it from a young age.
Whatever achievements we want our children to attain, we need to nurture their talents from young. Therefore, every parent who want their children to grow up responsible and accomplished should raise them in a manner that prepares them for that.
It starts with responsibility...
We can all agree that we must be responsible for our own work. If we want our children to be responsible adults who are responsible with money, work, relationships, learning etc...how better to teach them responsibility than to give them some responsibilities. Tell your toddler to put his own cup into the sink and put his dirty clothes into the laundry basket. Teach your teenager to run the wash and transfer the clothes to the dryer when the basket is full. (without having to pay them) Help them understand due diligence/due care from young. How will a child view responsibility if they have never been given any at home?
Teach them how to be responsible, help plan a schedule and teach them to follow it by themselves. Train them to pack their own school bags, keep their toys and teach them how to self-study. The list can go on.
If we want to help our children accomplish great things in life, we will have to teach them the habits that help them achieve that in future. Teach them people skills, engage in activities that encourage creativity, read with them and nurture their talents (Read more about it here). Teach them how to cook wholesome meals for themselves, clean the house and do the laundry. Don't leave your child without the skills to succeed. Teach them how to survive in the real world!
Parents need to let go and let our children learn a lesson on their own. Shielding them all the time may only make it worse for them. It is easier and faster to do everything for our children. When this becomes a habit, they take it as our responsibility instead of theirs. Sometimes, the best way to help our children grow is to let go and let them try, struggle and problem solve on their own.
We are raising children to be adults and our parenting can reflect that preparation for adulthood.
What else can we do as parents?
Read about talking to children about equality and privilege HERE
Vincent & Debra Kwan, Founders of Hiro & Jack and stay-at-home parents with the odd life.