I never thought I would be grateful for this. I never realized how much it helped me. It's only now as an adult that I see how damaging the other way could have been.
I remember how jealous I was. I wished so badly that my parents would have been different. But now I am seeing how I was really the lucky one.
But it all goes back to my dad's saying, "life isn't fair". Oh how I hated that.
I think the first time I realized that my parents weren't like everyone else was in middle school when a teacher gave a test that we all viewed as completely unfair. We were all furious about our less than perfect test scores. As we walked out of class I remember walking through the halls with a group of kids in the class discussing how ridiculous, how unfair, how terrible the test was. And I'll never forget when someone said, "I can't wait to get home and tell my parents. They will be so mad they'll go straight to the teacher and demand I get to retake it." I remember like sheep we all agreed that we'd do the same.
But the problem was, I already knew. I knew what would happen when I got home and showed the test to my parents. If I told them how ridiculous, how unfair, how terrible that test was they wouldn't go after the teacher, in fact they wouldn't even say a negative word about the teacher, they would have gotten after me. They would have punished me for my bad test score. End of story.
I heard of these parents that would yell at teachers, complain to principals, or my favorite ask coaches for more playing time. And so badly I wanted just once for my parents to go fight for me.
But no. I was always taught without fail, if you want an A you have to work for it, if you want more playing time you need to get better, if you have a problem with an adult... The adult is right and I was wrong.
Now were the adults always right and I was always wrong? Probably. But even if that wasn't true. Even if I was right sometimes this value of my parents' taught me a very unmistakeable lesson. If you want something in life. You have to work for it, be smart enough to figure it out, and the only person you can rely on to make sure you get it is you.
Why am I on my soap box about this today? Because I am blown away by the number of parents I see or hear about every day going to bat for their kids over the pettiest issues imaginable. And I see what it does to the poor kids. It makes them weak, it makes them selfish, it makes them entitled.
Why do I write this? Because I see that not going to bat for your kid might take a lot of restraint, maturity, and wisdom. When my kid comes home someday complaining about something, or not getting the playing time or got cut from the team... Who knows what I'll want to do. But hopefully I'll remember this little heart to heart and help my kid out rather than hurting him.