Raise Imperfect – But Resilient – Kids

Protect your kids by shielding them, or inoculating them?

Peggy Orenstein writes in today’s The New York Times Magazine section http://www.nytimes.com/2009/02/08/magazine/08wwln-lede-t.html?partner=permalink&exprod=permalink that parents are ruled by what she calls a “Toxic Paradox … a belief that if we do everything right we can protect [our kids] from pain or failure or sadness  We can make them perfect and, in the process, prove ourselves beyond reproach.”

Not a good idea.  Not possible.  Not even a good idea if it were possible.

So what’s a parent to do? Hold your nose, bite your tongue, but open your eyes:  your kids need to make mistakes and recover from them.  They need to get hurt and recover.  They need to lose and recover.  They need to be on the wrong side of fair and recover.  A parent can’t – and shouldn’t – shield them from all life’s difficulties.  A parent can – and should – help them learn to turn life’s shit into fertilizer and grow something glorious. 

 Copyright © 2009 Marlin S. Potash. All rights reserved.


One response to “Raise Imperfect – But Resilient – Kids

  1. the last comment about helping kids turn their shit into fertilizer and growing something glorious is one of the best quotes I have ever read. My kids and I have gone through some real shit with their father, my ex, and I hope every day that despite what he did, their lives will be glorious!

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