“At every step the child should be allowed to meet the real experience of life; the thorns should never be plucked from his roses.”
– Ellen Key
As a parent, it is natural not only to protect your child from harm but also to keep her free from worry or problems. We want our children to be happy and successful – all the time.
As a good parent, we have a responsibility to do something a little different, because what happens to the child who never knows even the slightest disappointment or failure? What if she wins at everything – or always gets her way? She is not prepared to be a successful adult.
This is true because in the real world, your child will not always get what she wants. At some point, she will be disappointed – and at some point, she will fail: it is a function of being human. Know, though, it is not the disappointment or failure which will help decide your child’s happiness; it will be her ability to react to it.
Of course, all good parents will protect their children from any significant danger or terrible mistake, and we will do everything we can to help them be successful. Yet a child who never has to face any disappointment or failure is unlikely to develop the skills needed to cope with these realities as an adult. If a parent gives in to the impulse to allow a child to win at every little game or contest, to cure for them every little struggle, to intervene at every little problem, we are simply not preparing them to handle life.
No good parent would allow his child to be battered by a storm, but letting just a little rain into your child’s life will best prepare her for her future.