As parents, we all have concerns about success—our children’s and our own. We wonder,
Most of us measure success by whether our kids make top grades, go to a good college, or earn a lot of money (all of which are certainly valid goals). But as spiritually conscious parents, we also know that success is less about the destination and more about the journey. The journey is what allows our children to learn their lessons, develop internal attributes, and grow into who they are meant to be.
And yet how often do we give our kids short-cuts? Acting on a very natural impulse to help and shield them from pain, we rush into “fix” their challenges. It starts with tying their shoe laces as toddlers, doing their science project in middle school, and paying for a lawyer when they get a traffic violation rather than letting them go to traffic school.
I get way too involved with my kids during their disputes with each other, so they keep coming to me to resolve their issues. In this instance, I have taught them to rely on my help rather than how to work it out for themselves. We all fall into this trap of giving our kids too much. But when we do, we’re doing the opposite of loving them, because from a spiritual perspective the number one cause of low self-esteem (and even depression) is getting too much and working too little for it.
Everything feels better—including ourselves—when we know we’ve earned it. That is why it is so important to allow our kids to meet challenges themselves—and to model that behavior in our own lives. In my view, when I am successful at doing that, I am successful at parenting!