Yes, I know, I am not a parent, and I'm sure it's a lot different than anything I may imagine. But that doesn't prevent me from having some opinions on the subject (though I do try to keep most of them to myself). And sometimes I can't help but voice my thoughts :O Last night DH showed me an article that made both of us shake our heads in disbelief. The article was written by a teacher complaining about the current trend in the Ontario school system to force all the students to pass their class. In the particular case described in the article, the teacher recommended that a student who had missed 2/3 of the school year (and hence did not master the knowledge required) should repeat that grade. But the parents of the teenager insisted that repeating a class would be damaging to the kid's self-esteem, and he was allowed to pass to the next grade.
So basically, the message being sent to kids these days is "you can't do wrong - skip classes, ignore your homework, and if your parents love you enough, they will make sure you still make it to the next grade". Sometimes I have to wonder if people really think that self-esteem comes from having everything in the world handed to you? Somehow, I don't think it's that simple :)
So today DH sends me this gem of an insightful thought: it seems that a lot of parents nowadays justify their behaviour by saying "I want my kids to have the best/everything they can". But shouldn't we be focusing instead on "I want my kids to BE the best/everything they can be"? It would seem that those two goals are almost orthogonal in the way you would go about to accomplishing them. Not saying that either is easy, or obvious, but I think that DH really hit on something if not deep, then at least interesting to ponder.
After all, the saying doesn't go "Have all you can have!" :)