Millennials, their parents and learning to be self sufficient
Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it. -- Proverbs 22:6
There was an excellent exchange between Rush Limbaugh and a caller last week regarding how Millennials view the world and how they are viewed. (Generally, Millennials were born between 1980 and 2000.) That exchange reminded me of an excellent quote at Reforming Fatherhood earlier this year.
As parents, our job is to train our children for life. As we care for our infants and toddlers, we should keep in mind what we want them to be when they are older, especially when they are teenagers and when they depart our homes. We want our children to be responsible, respectable adults. Believe it or not, that starts early.
There have been a number of times when my son has been fussy because he wants to come to me. Once he could crawl, my reaction was "Don't just sit there and fuss. Do something about it." He would crawl over to me (now he walks over to me) and then he would be happy. I then praise him for being such a good boy.
If I went over and picked him up every time he was fussy (when I know he wants his daddy) he would not learn to solve the problem himself by going over to daddy. He also learned the command to "come here" as he was already doing what he wanted to do anyway. The other important thing he is learning is that daddy won't just pick him up because he is whining - he has to come to daddy himself.
Of course, I have a lot more work to do over the next eighteen years. I have not even scratched the surface on all of the training that needs to be done to prepare my son for being a responsible, respectable, self-reliant young man. My point here is that there are many opportunities to train your children from an early age. Do not "protect" them from failure or disappointment. Always keep your eye on what you want your son or daughter to be like as an adult.