I strongly believe that every child is unique and precious. With different giftings, personality and potential, children should be encouraged and nurtured. They should be given opportunity to thrive. They are not, however, to be placed on a pedestal and worshiped.
Millennials, also called the Snowflake Generation by Claire Fox, author of “I Find That Offensive!” are, she explains, young adults who are more fragile and more likely to take offense than their parents. They have a strong sense of entitlement and are openly distressed by ideas that are different from their own.
The detrimental parenting philosophy that led to this mess reared its ugly head with parents who obsessed over boosting their child’s self-esteem – everyone gets a medal, no one loses. Kids were sheltered from work, from worry, from anyone who might view the world differently. If there was a problem with school or organizations, the fault belonged to the other party, not the student. If the kid tried, they expected to be rewarded with an “A.” Their wish was their parents’ command.
I think my kids would tell you that they were cherished. But they learned early that the universe did not revolve around them. It wasn’t about them. It was about serving others. It was about surviving as a family, each making huge sacrifices when needed for the greater good. It was about working hard and finding joy in whatever path they found themselves on.
While we weren’t perfect parents and my kids have their flaws, they stand in stark contrast to many in their generation. Fragile honestly isn’t in their vocabulary. Or ours. In fact, when asked to describe my daughter in one word within the School Report for college applications, my honest choice was resilient.
The problem with raising a princess (or a prince) is that the rest of the world (college professors, employers, spouses, friends) won’t know and won’t care that they are standing in the presence of royalty. The real world is not a fairy tale and promises to be a harsh place for those who expect much from others and little from themselves.
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