Like a lot of parents, I watch my teenagers make preventable errors that cause them pain. Don’t get me wrong, I try to warn them. I talk to them about things in all manner of ways. I even shut up and listen once in awhile. Now these kids are not stupid. They have the intelligence to see that their choices defy logic. So why don’t they use that intelligence?
I think they need to screw up and feel pain. It toughens them. One thing in life is certain, no matter how well you prepare, you will still face hardship and pain. While they are with their parents, they have a safety net, and they can take risks and toughen their skin more safely than they will be able to when they are on their own.
The big X factor is drugs and alcohol in all this – not risk free at all. And what makes it worse is that the drugs or alcohol anesthetize their pain, so they don’t even get the benefit of getting tougher.