Photo Source: BikerAndBride blog
As I was cleaning out a magazine file, I stumbled upon an old brochure for Jim Fay's Love & Logic series and noticed the book, Tickets to Success on that list. I read it fairly quickly as it's short & to-the-point. It was life changing! For both of my kids' lives, I've been right there to protect and guide them, as most parents do. But now I'm seeing that perhaps I've done that way too much because sometimes, in certain situations, they can't do it all that well by themselves.
Maybe I should have let them resolve their own problems during toddler playdates.
Maybe I could have let them fall off the scooter (instead of catching them before they hit the ground) to learn to hold their balance better (because my hollering "keep balanced!" is far less effective than an actual fall).
Maybe if I would have let them work out a sibling argument without intervening, they'd be better friends now. It's hard to say.
But WOULD'A--COULD'A--SHOULD'A won't
help now, because that time has passed.
I always thought my "hellicoptering" would protect them ... but protect them from what?
Protect them from learning how to resolve problems?
Protect them from learning how to adapt to unexpected results?
Protect them from learning how to take criticism (because that's everywhere!)?
Protect them from knowing how to fix a problem that their bad decision caused? ......
.... No, I don't want to protect them FROM those things; instead I want to expose them TO those things. But I'm 7 & 9 years late!! Better late than never, I guess.
In the book Tickets to Success when Jim Fay is writing about letting a child miss a meal or go without a coat as consequences to the child's own decision and/or lack of responsibility, he writes: "When we let children make decisions and they get a little cold or hungry, they learn about the real world. If we rescue them, we've robbed them of their tickets to success." (Jim Fay. Tickets to Success, page 51. Love and Logic Press. 1994). Robbing them of this is something I have perfected, I'm sad to say. But at least I have a chance to change it.
Jim Fay writes about using Love & Logic as a golden rule for raising our kids: "Kids grow best with a balance of love and logic. Love allows children to grow through their mistakes. Logic allows them to live with the consequences of their choices." (Fay, page 4)
He also writes that "building responsible children is a four-step process.
"Raising responsible children is our greatest objective as teachers and parents. Responsible children own tickets to success. But children are not born responsible. They learn responsibility as we allow them to make decisions and to live with the consequences. In the end, we cannot give children tickets to success. There is no free lunch, no free ride, and no free ticket. Day by day, choice by choice, decision by decision we can allow our children to earn their tickets to success." (Fay, page 107)
Lastly, the blogger's article (a college professor, I believe), "Helicopter Parents" from which I found that perfect image of helicopter parents (above) closes with this: "
So I'll close with the same. Thanks for reading.
Tickets to Success is exactly that: their wisdom. I'm simply quoting from the book to relay it's general message to others who may be struggling with this. I would encourage anyone to read this book in its entirety.
The next book I'm reading is on entitlement. Now isn't that a snowball rolling out of control these days!?!?!?