Legacy Parenting

Yet another news item has come up as we go through the six steps of efficient planning. But you need a little more time to reach out to your trusted people, anyway, right?  Okay.

Let’s take another break, then, to talk about the college admissions scandal. A college admission scheme was uncovered where wealthy parents were buying their kids… and cheating their kids, sometimes without the kid knowing, into prestigious colleges. The scandal caught famous TV personalities, social media stars, and wealthy families. These parents spend hundreds of thousands of dollars to make what should be a rigorous process to find the best and brightest, into a no-brainer, sure thing for their kid. The parents go to great lengths to get their kids into top universities… without the kids earning their spot.

So. I want to stop and take time to talk about legacy parenting.

Legacy parenting is the opposite of snowplow parenting. Like the admissions cheaters, snowplow parents remove any obstacle their child runs into. They clear a path to the goal the kid, or usually the parent, has in mind. No room for failure. No struggle, no self sufficiency. No achievement. The parents work, so the kids don’t.

But the plow won’t always be there.  Snowplow parents take actions based on a bad presumption. That they will always be around to knock those obstacles down for their kids. But, the reality is they won’t.

Legacy parenting is the antidote to the snowplow because it takes a longer view. Parenting decisions, even for small kids, is done with this question in mind. “How am I preparing my kid to live life without me?”

The idea is that you show your kids how to develop the skills they need to take care of themselves. Give them responsibility. Allow them to fail. In all sorts of situations. Give kids responsibility for household chores. Make them be responsible for getting those chores done. If they fail, show them how to get back on their feet. But don’t try to take away the failure.

You parent keeping in mind that the goal is to prepare this kid, to be an adult. Who can live and enjoy life. Who can struggle, fail and get back up again. Without you.

Because no matter how you parent, at some point, they’re going to have to fly on their own. The reality is that someday they’ll have to.

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The legal issues that we all will face shouldn't be a mystery.