Image by Jarrod Blamey from Pixabay

July 1, 2019

One of the hardest things to do in life is to let go and let your children figure it out. I have been and am currently knee deep into experiencing this reality daily as my teenagers explore the modern world. After reading an excellent article in the New York Times Magazine by Heather Havrilesky, I decided to write about parenting, chores and letting go.

Where did it all go? The letting children learn and fail parenting style that is. The giving them chores because they are a part of the family team. The telling them that I love you and this is part of growing up.

I am not sure, but if you ever have a chance to read the Fourth Turning, I suspect that this is a periodic cycle of societal attitude shift based on a previous reaction to an older parenting style. Either way, the recent helicopter/snowplow parenting style is an abject mess for the growth of self for children. By doing it for them, kids gain no skills in work ethic, resilience, self worth and so much more. In our nutty desire for our kids to succeed at all costs, we are doing the exact opposite for them. We are preventing self success.

Take for example the recent college admissions scandal at many of the prestigious colleges and universities in the US. Here we see a group of wealthy people thinking that they are doing their children a favor by paying their way into school. What message are they really sending? Sweetie, you are not good enough to get into this school, therefore, I will buy it for you because I love you that much. Teenager emotionally hears that in their parents eyes, they are a failure and not worthy.

What children need is discipline and at the same time freedom to explore and learn. What if we told them that they are a part of this wonderful family team that works together to achieve happiness and prosperity? What if we told them that they are expected to work daily with chores that help everyone? What if we told them that everything that you get in life that is worth anything is earned and not given? What if we expected them to love and be loved within the framework of a daily disciplined existence?

No moochers or free loading children that feel entitled to things because they exist. No whiney "do it for me" children. No lazy all day video game playing and all day screen watching children.

"Because, as Lythcott-Haims told Tech Insider: "By making them do chores -- taking out the garbage, doing their own laundry -- they realize I have to do the work of life in order to be part of life. It's not just about me and what I need in this moment."" (Inc Article)

If you are a new parent, a parent to be or a current parent of any age child, read these books now:

1) Love and Logic - Jim Fay Link
2) Extreme Ownership - Jocko Willink Link
3) Nurture Shock - Po Bronson Link
4) Mindset - Carol Dweck Link
5) How to Raise and Adult - Julie Lythcott Haims Link
6) Can Doesn't Mean Should - Paul Smolen Link

Dr. M

Havrilesky NYT Article
Bill Murphy Jr Inc Article