I'm lucky to have friends who talk about what if's or what do you think, instead of the weather. We're all moms and grandmoms so our conversation often drifts to children, or young people. You can imagine the dialogue, besides how amazing our own offsring are. It's social media, kids not getting to play enough, so many things that concern today's parents.
One of our thoughtful group recently asked, "Do you know the kids I get concerned about, maybe even feel sorry for?" Group shaking of heads. She said - it's two completely different groups: Those who get everything they ask for. Those who get nothing they ask for.
If that sounds like a contradiction, she said, think about it. You get everything you ask for -- you never learn to handle disappointment. You have a harder time coping solo. Your sense of personal accoplishment suffers. Unless a kind adult says 'let's figure how you can make this happen,' there's a tough road ahead. Those who get nothing they ask for have a different challenge. They decide they don't deserve encouragement or reward. Where's the inspiration? Whatever I do, it won't make a difference.
None of us had really thought of 'all or nothing' in this context.
Perhaps seeing youngsters thrive begins with our own disccipline. Learning to say 'no,' to every demand or wish is not easy. Saying a sincere 'good job' is easier, and feels good. Both take caring and discipline.
Talking about the weather, which we can do nothing about, might be easier. Talking about troublesome issues where we could help make the tiniest improvement is definitely more timeworthy.
Our consensus: It does not always have to be all or nothing. Balance between the two was the best promise we could make.
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