A Paradox of Parenting
“Nothing splendid has ever been achieved except by those who dared believe that something
inside of them was superior to circumstance.”
One of the paradoxes of parenting is that, at the same time, we want our children to be incredibly observant about reality, and incredibly courageous in spite of what they see.
I want my son to know the scientific law of gravity, for instance, and yet I also want him to believe he can, with hard training, jump high enough to catch that ball over the centerfield fence.
I want my daughter, for instance to know the current difficulties of the book publishing business, and yet I want her to pursue her current dream of making it big in the book business.
We cannot promote one without the other. Dreams that don’t begin in reality are fantasies, not dreams. Reality without a belief in the possibility of change is not reality, it’s fatalistic pessimism.
Let us, with courage, teach our kids two seemingly conflicting truths:
1. Life is what it is.
2. Life is what you make of it.
There are times when it’s best to teach one, and times to teach the other. Strive to create a balance of the two over the months and years as you lead your kids into adulthood, and then watch as they become grounded in both reality and their ability to change the world.