What traits do we want our children to possess as they grow up?
In the last year we’ve heard so much about “how to talk to kids” about current events, though much of it has consisted of projecting our own fears about what’s going on in the world onto our heretofore blissfully innocent children. Much less focus is on providing our kids the tools to grow up to be the kind of people who can maintain composure and perseverance in the face of a changing society.
The basic question comes down to this: Do we want our children to “be happy” — that nebulous expression of doting — or do we want them to be resilient in the face of an anxiety-inducing world?
A Pew Research Center study from 2014 found that the trait the majority of American parents, 54 percent, wanted their kids to possess is “responsibility.” Second was hard work, followed by helping others and being well-mannered. Resilience isn’t mentioned — but then, 2014 already seems like a different era from now.
Those are all good traits to instill in your children. All parents want their kids to be happy, of course. All parents would prefer their kid be smart, motivated, kind. But what we’re missing in raising our children are the traits of perseverance. We aren’t focusing on making our kids well-adjusted individuals equipped to handle the problems that come their way.