Freedom, Responsibility, and Child Rearing

The New Yorker asks why American kids lack the responsibility so evident in children of (some) other cultures.  The article concludes that an adolescence of parental fixing, making sure everything is perfect and the kid never fails, results in a lifetime of incompetence and entitlement.

Like so many things, we let ourselves be blinded by our feelings.  It feels bad to watch your beloved child fail and fall and cry and hurt.  It’s so much easier to swoop in and do it or fix it or make it perfect.  But it’s this exact behavior that prevents children from ever learning to be responsible.

If you don’t require them to be responsible from the beginning, you can’t bemoan the fact that they aren’t suddenly responsible when their 18th birthdays roll around.

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