As parents, we try hard to shelter our children from hurt, disappointment, and rejection. Yet, somehow they need the skills to handle these negative incidents in their lives. What is the balance between our counsel and life's lessons?
Some kids do not welcome sage advice or suggestions from their parents or elders. They need to experience the hard knocks before they can understand what was being relayed. We cringe and feel the pain that they will experience and yet these kids are determined to be on a crash course of their own determination.
Some kids will listen to advice but too often, when they begin to ask for help, it may be too late and some of the negative consequences are inevitable.
Then there are some kids who are afraid to stray from the path of the known. They are cautious to the extreme, fearful of the unknown, and small minded. Of all the kids, these are the most dangerous because they are unwilling to experiment and experience life.
The best thing we as parents can do is to give our children the courage to jump in with both feet and the skills to swim to shore or safety. There is a point in which we have to acknowledge kids' decisions and let them take the consequences of their actions. If the consequences are positive, we celebrate with them. If the consequences are negative, we sympathize and look for ways to help. We cannot and should not do everything for our kids...we only handicap them when we try to do this.
Let the kids live life on their own terms.