It was once said that “We avoid the mistakes our parents made and make the mistakes our parents avoided.” Think about that for a second in the context of your life.

So much of who we are, the very fiber of our being is shaped by childhood memories we have of our parents and the way they were with us. Ironically, those very memories form our own parenting philosophies.

Perhaps you grew up in a single parent household where one parent was literally not around, did that create a resounding impact to where you would never fathom leaving your child? Do you sit in on his/her play dates? Better yet, do you coordinate who the play date is with despite how the child feels about their potential play mate? Are you weary of letting them go to sleep away camp?

Was your parent unavailable emotionally? And if so did that mold your parenting style to go the complete other way and occasionally over protect your child when the particular matter can be handled by the child themselves? Do you yell at a teacher for giving your child a bad grade even though they deserved it?

Do you over protect or indulge? Do you still do their laundry even though they have surpassed an acceptable age to where your mother or father should no longer be responsible for cleaning your underwear? Do you fill out their college applications?

Ideally, as a parent you create a lifestyle in which you teach your child to do things for themselves. Understandably it’s difficult to find a balance between knowing what’s best for your child and letting them figure it out on their own, but it must be done in order for your child to be able to think for themselves.

Be loving to your kids. Give them the tools to be educated individuals capable of making a rational decision on their own. Most importantly do not miss your opportunity to let a child self actualize by doing everything for them.

A great quote to leave you with which best exemplifies this passage, “Give a child a fish and you feed them for a day, teach a child how to fish and you feed them for a lifetime.”