Why it is important to let your kids struggle as they grow up

NOTES FROM THE ALIENATED DAD ON THIS ARTICLE:  One of the key issues I have faced over the years of my marriage (and that are now affecting me as the alienated dad) is the issue of “rescuing my kids” in every situation. I love the approach from this blogger. I think the pernicious trend to bubble-wrap our kids and helicopter parent them will have a huge impact in our society in the future. It already is. I read the other day about a major employer’s HR departments complaints about 20-something hires who had their parents call when they were reprimanded or not promoted in their jobs. Much like they did when their kids played soccer or didn’t get the role in the school musical, they are advocating for their kids even in their 20s.


The problem with my viewpoint is that my kids have been taught by their mother to believe that I have this attitude because I don’t love them. “See how much mom loves you, she’ll call and set up a teacher’s conference if you think you’re teacher is being unfair.” Because Dad’s response is to investigate the situation: “What’s going on… Could it be because of X?” instead of just assuming that my son is absolutely correct and the teacher is nefarious.


I don’t think I should stop my non-bubble wrap approach, and I won’t, but it’s interesting to me that it’s being used against me. What is love but wanting the best for your children? Is it best that they learn to handle conflict and struggle through their emotional hurdles themselves (with a great parental safety net) or is it more loving for parents to repeatedly bail them out, so they kids have no idea how to navigate the treacherous waters of adulthood?

Empowered Parents by Jayna Haney


Have you heard the story of the cocoon and the butterfly?  It is one of my favorite stories, and has helped me to get through the teenage years of our children.  It is rich with lessons about life and growing up (and parenting, as well).

(There are many versions on the web. I found this one at http://instructor.mstc.edu/instructor/swallerm/struggle%20-%20butterfly.htm.)

Once a little boy was playing outdoors and found a fascinating caterpillar. He carefully picked it up and took it home to show his mother. He asked his mother if he could keep it, and she said he could if he would take good care of it.

The little boy got a large jar from his mother and put plants to eat, and a stick to climb on, in the jar. Every day he watched the caterpillar and brought it new plants to eat.

One day the caterpillar climbed up the…

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2 thoughts on “Why it is important to let your kids struggle as they grow up

  1. I’m a Canadian resident and I made a mistake and was charged with driving under the influence, but i still havn’t been convicted
    in court. I was planning on going to the UK within the next
    year and a 1/2, will i still be eligable
    for a working holiday visa? do i need to apply for a pardon?
    How long will i have to wait until i am eligable?
    . but will they even let me in or give me a visa?

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