For many of us, there was a point in time before we had children in which we were sure that we would do a better job than our parents. We believed that we would give our children everything we were neglected. We would take them to places, give them things, and protect them from the troubles of the world. The result, our children would love us and grow to be successful just like we imagined.

Although raising our children better than we were raised is a novel idea, with the best of intention, it may have actually had the adverse effect on our children. As a whole, we are beginning to see more and more children depressed and suicidal. Maybe it is time we looked at how we are raising our children. Could it be that instead of spoiling our children, we are actually abusing them?

By abuse, I don’t mean physical, sexual, or verbal abuse.

Child abuse in the 21st century is quite a bit different. It happens because we have put our children in a bubble. Because our society has become richer our children are spoiled with toys, gadgets and experiences. We also protect our children from all the adversity in life; no critical thinking, no stress, no failure, no fights, no work, no tests, no competition, and no responsibility. Our kids basically believe that all of the luxuries and grand experiences they have in life are the norm.

Nothing could be further from the truth. Billions of people struggle for safety, food, shelter, and education around the world. That is more than the population of the United States, let alone our middle class and those more affluent. We are abusing them because we don’t prepare our children for “real life”.

They must learn that competition is a very real thing…

They must learn how to work for what they want…

They must learn how to fight…

They must learn how to be personally responsible for their actions…

They must learn how to deal with stress…

They must learn how to fail and get back up…

They must learn how to critically think…

If we want to give our children a chance at a better life we must let them out of the bubble. They have to understand that the world competes¬†every day to utilize and bid for scarce resources. Freedom isn’t given, they have to earn it and sometimes fight for it. If they want respect they must earn it by respecting others and being responsible for their actions. They have to understand that life will only give them what they work for. They must encounter stressful situations and failures to grow in life and nothing can help them through these situations except for their critical thinking skills.

As we have become more mature individuals many of us have come to realize that our parents did the best they could. Raising children isn’t as easy as it seems. And because the world is more gray than black and white, we can still end up unintentionally abusing our children by setting them up for disappointment in the future. Our only solution is to prepare our silver spooned children before they encounter forks in the road. We do that by giving them the greatest gift and most unforgettable experience, LOVE.

 

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