"Smooth waters don't make good sailors"

I was having a conversation with a friend regarding the need that we mothers have to shelter and abide to every desire from our children, and how I believe this is a disservice to them.

I remember how angst I would feel every time that I was watching a movie or reading a story with my daughter Liv and the character's mother died. In many stories, like Bambi, little mermaid and so forth. The characters lost their mothers, I did not understand why?

I went on and did a little research and talked to my Psychoanalyst about it and figured it out that that's the way Kids elaborate death, loss and fear. They have to make up stories in a way that they are able to deal with Life's hardship.

I would have preferred to hide this "dark" reality from her, but I would not have been right. When we believe our kids cannot handle things, we are making them believe that they are weak. And this is just not true. Out kids are much more resilient that we think they are. They are as strong as we are, but we are trying to shelter them in a way that we are making them weak. We cater to them too much, we serve them too much, we shelter them too much, and we judge them incapable of solving their own problems.
When something that might be upset to your children comes along, don't pity them, use it as an opportunity of growth. Help them navigate through hard waters, be there, show them compassion, hear their struggles, but don't make it worse, don't put your stuff or emotions on top of it. Don't feed the drama, recognize the matter and help them deal. It will affect them, but it will also prepare them from life's reality.
Help them see things with clarity, and bring perspective to it, because Life happens when we least expect it, and it can be harsh, and we don't have to choose their futures, or even protect then from their destinies.

I don't believe also in making it harder for our kids in order to toughen them up. It is different to let them deal with their stuff without meddling in every single scuff that they get into. We don't have to make them colder or harder in order to make them stronger. Hardness don't make people struggle, structure and flexibility does.

I invite everyone to watch Oprah's history on Masterclass, it is a life lesson on its own.
Just a brief resume of what she went through as a child and how the survival of the children are not really up to us, and they are able to recover from the hardest things.
Oprah has been sent back and forth from her mother to her grandmother since she was born, and she was sent to live with her mother when she was 5 years old. Her mother was a semi-slave in a farm in Mississippi and Oprah was not allowed to sleep inside the house because of her dark skin tone, so she had to sleep by herself outside the house on a porch. She was so terrified of the night, of animals and everything else that the fear of the darkness can bring to a 5 year old little girl's imagination. But she made up angels that would protect her from harm (SHE WAS STRENGHTENING UP FER FAITH).
When she was about 9, she began to be sexually abused. That threw her over the edge and she became a very self-destructive teenager, with no self-steem, no self-worth, no self-love. But she has endured enough, so she was able to pull through it.

When she was 14 she was sent to live with her father, whom she didn't have any contact with. She was pregnant at that time, and the first thing he told her was: if you get in trouble and get pregnant I will kill you with my own hands and I will throw your body in the river. She was already pregnant, coming from a series of abuses. She was so terrified that she drank Clorox to take her own life. She ended up in a hospital where she was told she lost the baby. Her father told her that she was lucky to be alive and to have lost the baby, so she was having a second chance. And boy, she took it.......

She took this second chance and went to school, and she noticed that she loved the books, she would excel in the book reports, and her work started to get noticed, she was elected to read a letter for the President of the United States and from there was radio, TV and so on.
Her life lessons did not harden her soul, did not turn her heart cold, on the contrary, she developed this compassionate look for human suffering, she wanted to make the world much better than it is. She decided to inspire, to take her life onto her hands and she excelled in life. That journey was not easy, actually hard doesn't begging to describe it what she endured it, but she made it.

My point is, our kids today have everything and it is making them entitled, arrogant and weak. They manipulate us and demand things as we owe them something. It will be very hard to prepare them to life. They are well fed, well educated, well traveled, they have access to the best medicine, the best schools, many activities, computers. They are loved and sheltered. But never in history we have seen so many teenagers taking their on lives for meaningless reasons, kids depressed and on medications, kids bullying the hell out of each other for lack of structure or challenge or compassion. These kids nowadays can be cruel, really cruel.

So what do we have to do with anything? Everything.

As we are raising this generation, while we are posting selfies on our social media pages, our kids are looking at our vain examples and watching this ridiculous late adolescents parents, worried about looks and appearances and their kids are there looking and learning how be self-centered, self-involved and selfish.