Don't prepare the path for the child; prepare the child for the path.
Friday, 16 October 2015
Among some of the most interesting generational trends is the role of parenting. Are parents dedicated to the work of preparing their children for what are likely to encounter in life, equipping them to make the best choices? Or, have parents become so controlling of life circumstances for their children that they are preparing the path, not the child?

The reality is that you will not always be there to pave the way for your child, fix things, argue with coaches, etc. Kids will grow into adults and experience grumpy co-workers and mean bosses. Constantly insulating kids from difficult situations and consistently cleaning up the mess they create defeats the purpose of learning.

Life is about learning to succeed and to fail, not just to succeed. Early Childhood Education should primarily provide life lessons. If the life lesson learned at early childhood is that Mom and Dad can and will fix everything, later life will be difficult.

Those parents who consistently prepare the path for the child by confronting teachers are making life-long losers out of their children.

Remember the purpose of Early Childhood Education is to teach kids about success and about failure. The failure lessons may in fact be more important than the successes. Everyone wants their child to succeed; it’s universal; it’s part of being a parent. However, it is when we attempt to alter the normal path that we screw things up. Protecting your child from difficult situations only delays lessons that are very necessary. Failures experienced at twenty one are far more painful than those experienced at ten or twelve. You don’t do your child a service by protecting them; you do them a disservice.

Remember you are a parent. You are not a friend, a manager, or an agent. Your job is to help create a competent, capable adult, not a dysfunctional child.

If you consistently prepare the path for the child, you postpone the inevitable. The key is value education. Teach your children what is really important. Teach hard work, commitment, loyalty and dedication.

The next time you make a decision involving your child, ask yourself “Am I preparing the child for the path or the path for the child”. This simple step will guide your decision making every time.
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