Home Youth Leaders Articles for Youth Leaders How We’ve Failed Our Young People

How We’ve Failed Our Young People

Because we don’t give you responsibility, things are out of your control—they happen to you. So when things go wrong, all you can ever be is a victim.

It’s an insidious cycle that keeps you from growing up.

If you really want to become the best version of yourself, here’s my advice: Please, just resist the temptation and decide to take responsibility for your future from here on out.

Decide to give grace to your parents—it’s the very grace that you yourself will need from your own children when you make mistakes. Decide to exercise a statute of limitations.

What’s past is past. It was awful and it kept you from growing up. But, having diagnosed it, put it to bed and turn the page. It’s time to move on and finish the job of growing up.

Who knows how the parenting pendulum will swing when you are ready to have children? How will you react to your parents’ failures?

For now, maybe the best place to start when we try to overprotect you is to say, “Mom, Dad, thanks. You’re awesome, I’ve got this.”

We may argue. We may go through the motions of rescuing you again. Yet if we’re smart, we’ll bite our tongues and let you do what adults do when life is hard.

You were made for greatness. You were made to soar. But you’ve got to learn to fly first. And when you struggle, you may have to continue to coach us in our new habit of letting go.

When you do, here’s what will happen—we will stand down. After all, we both want the same thing, and that’s your success. And hey, what leverage do we have anyway?

When we see you flying, know that our hearts will be leaping within us. Know that we’ll be telling our friends, “That’s my baby there! Have you ever seen anything so awesome in all your life?”

We can’t help ourselves. We really do love you more than we can express.