I know how much you absolutely love your child. How you want them to have a good life. How you want to protect them. How you want them to be happy. But, being a teacher who interacts with both children and parents on a daily basis, I need to tell you a few things.
Please, stop saving your child. Saving them from making a mistake. Saving them from every tough situation with a friend or peer. Saving them from consequences.
Schools were designed to teach academics, but even more so, I make it my first priority to teach life skills. To teach my class how to be kind. How to make friends. How to be responsible. How to stand up for themselves. How to accept the consequences of their actions. How to apologize for the wrong they have done. How to ask for what they need. How to handle the situations life will always throw at them.
And when you save them from all of this, they don’t get to learn any of it.
Just think about it, right now your child has the opportunity to learn so many of life’s lessons inside a building where there are adults everywhere, all there for the sole purpose of loving on your child and helping them grow into a kind, independent, able human. Right now is the perfect time to let your child fail. To let them struggle with a friend. To let them forget their homework. To let them go alone on a field trip. To let them miss recess as a consequence for being unkind. Because right now, when they mess up or struggle, they are doing it surrounded by teachers all ready to help them figure it out.
Twenty years from now, if they haven’t had the chance to learn these lessons, the repercussions are far worse. As an adult, when you forget to turn in your work before the deadline, your mom can’t just come drop it off, and the consequence isn’t missing five minutes of recess. When a coworker is being unkind to you, you can’t ask your parents to call their parents and talk it out. It takes learned social skills to interact with those people in our lives. When you need help, it becomes your job to ask for it. To know how to advocate for yourself instead of relying on your parents to do it for you.
Don’t get me wrong. I know you love your child. I know you are doing it because you are absolutely insanely obsessed with them. But, please, let them struggle now, so they better know how to deal with those struggles later in life.