You do a thing you think is great - look, I've set very strict guidelines that will make my kid a super adult and prepare them for the world - and all you do is instill them with the thought that you never let them have fun and kept them from being able to adjust to the world as it is.
OTOH, you give them no rules and be their friend, and they long for you to have given them direction and guidance and pushed them so that they didn't end up with no skills and a habit of laying around on a couch all day.
It is really the ultimate no win situation in a game that feels incredibly important to win. As a result, I'm hesitant to give hard and fast advice on how to parent a specific child.
But there is one piece thing I think we parents need to stop doing across the board: stop telling kids they are "perfect the way they are."
This is also a tricky, mine filled field to traipse through, because honestly, self esteem requires that we like who we are. I'm not saying otherwise.
But if you are perfect the way you are, there is no reason to change. The fact is, your kids aren't perfect the way they are. You aren't perfect the way you are.
You should want to grow and, hypothetically, be someone different 5 years from now. I'm not saying you need a set out five-year plan to be person B. But if you are 35 and the same person you were in high school, or college, that isn't a good look. Heck, if you are 25 and the same person you were in high school or college, shame on you.
And yet you'll see people mindlessly post things on social media like:
"My parents taught me to love who I am, and that is why I'm the same person I was in high school."As with so many things people say, if you think about for like a second, this doesn't reflect well on the author. It is meant as a braggadocios "look at me, I'm an original who stays true to themselves" post (with a touch of "unlike you people" as a side dish).
In reality, what it says (to me, at any rate) is "I'm not good at introspection and I don't like to grow."
We should definitely be teaching our kids that they appreciate who they are in the moment. But MORE IMPORTANTLY, we should be teaching them that they need recognize where they can grow and work on things. And not just them. I tell my kids all the time that they need to work on things - that we ALL have things we need to work on. I point out to them places where I need to grow and things I need to work on.
Life is about growth and learning.
The important thing for them to know isn't that they are "fine" the way they are; the important thing for them to know is that they can improve from where they are..