Keep adding before you start taking things away.
People think that having it hard is a bad thing. If you look back at all the most important and successful people that have ever lived, you’ll see that hard work and hardship is a common theme. This has become taboo now. People want to give their children “the childhood they (the parents) never had”. Although this might make the parents feel great because they show what providers they are, it is hurting their children. This philosophy of removing all distractions may yield great results in the short term but the ill effects will be experience by their children down the road when they get older.
In Boot Camp, the drill instructors push the cadets to edge. They keep adding more and more work and discomfort until the cadet either breaks and quits or becomes immune to all the negativity and can thrive in hardship. They do this because when times get tough out on the battlefield, they don’t want their soldiers to break when it counts. I’m not advocating that you push your children to their breaking point, I’m saying that you should show you children how much responsibility they will experience when they leave your care. It’s best that they feel what real responsibility feels like while they’re in your care so you can right their ship if it goes off course.
By not giving your children lots of responsibility, you’re actually holding them back. You’re quietly telling them that you don’t think they can handle juggling more than one ball. When they go out to live on their own, they will be overwhelmed with all they have to do. And when they fail for the first time, they won’t know what to do. They should fail as much as they can when you’re around so you can teach them that failure is the best teacher. When they fail, they must learn that this is not a stopping point, but a launching point. You’ll be amazed and surprised how well kids deal with adversity and failure.
Do well in school, do chores, play sports, have a part time job, start and business to work for and save money, go out with friends, spend time with the family, they must do it all. This is what being an adult is all about. When you become a parent you aren’t in the child raising business, you’re in the adult making business. Your job isn’t to show the world what great parents you are, your job is to show your children what being an adult is all about.