Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Fearless Parenting: Raising a Child to Face the Adult World

By Harry H. Harrison Jr.

Childhood is short. Adulthood however, is for a very long time. And it’s waiting. And for millions of kids about to fly out of the house, adulthood is going to be a scary, hopeless existence because they are simply unprepared to face it.

The reason is us. Parents. Somehow, many of us have lost our way.

And that’s creating a looming generation of kids who can’t face life on its own terms, who continue to live with parents well into their 30s, who have little job skills, who collapse under the stress being told “No”, who believe “trying hard” should insure success, who haven’t seen a priest or a rabbi in two decades, and who have absolutely no idea on how to function in the adult world.

What's gone wrong? As parents we live in fear. Fear our children aren’t happy enough, they’re not popular enough, they’re not safe enough, they don’t have enough, they have to work too hard, and that they’re not being treated fairly. This fear shapes the way we raise them. Instead of teaching them how to struggle, we eliminate struggle from their lives. Instead of teaching them how to persevere, we tell them not to try so hard. Instead of teaching them to do without, we teach them all they have to do is ask.

Instead of teaching them to be adventurous we make them risk adverse. Instead of teaching them how to succeed, we teach them to be happy because we’ve succeeded. So our kids grow up parent dependent instead of independent.

The good news is, we can change. Instead of focusing on giving our kids the most fantastic childhood ever, with just a few little attitude adjustments, we can work to prepare them for adulthood. To give them tools to succeed instead of reasons for failure. We can teach them to value honor and integrity over “cool” and “sexy.”

We can show them how to earn self-esteem, handle defeat and persevere when the going gets tough. We can help our children gain the confidence to face the world. Fearless Parenting is based on ten years of interviews I’ve done to complete eight books on parenting, marriage and raising children. It contains specific strategies you can use today to begin preparing your kids for the most difficult task of their lives:

Growing up.

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