Today’s post is a guest blog by Adam Donyes. Besides being a dear friend, he is the Director of Kanakuk Link Year, a foundational college experience for High School graduates. I hope you enjoy!
Last week I had a conversation with one of my mentors in life and I was seeking some guidance on how I should help students under my care grow. He was being a great listener and allowing me to vent some of my frustrations I’ve been having in regards to people telling me how to do things, how do act, what to say, what to do, and who to be. I told my mentor that it was so frustrating because they were planning out my every step and I felt like I wasn’t even allowed to be me. So finally I had the courage to approach these individuals and express my feelings. I told them that I need to have the opportunity to wreck. Yes, you heard me correctly, I want the freedom to wreck. Not that I want to be a failure, but that I want the freedom to crash and learn from my own mistakes. I thought my mentor was going to say I was stupid for saying this, but he actually agreed with me.
He and I began to discuss the failure parents are setting their kids up for by not letting them fail. He used the analogy of first learning how to ride a bike. Eventually the parent has to remove the training wheels and let go of the seat if their kid is ever going to ride the bike. And yes, their kid will probably wreck, but they will learn how to ride a bike on their own. I believe this generation is so adamant about not allowing their children to wreck that it is actually doing more harm then good. My mentor wasn’t saying that parents should completely neglect the opportunity to speak wisdom and advice into their children’s lives. What he did say, that I completely agree with is; wouldn’t we rather have our children wreck in high school where we can still coach them at home vs. being a hovering helicopter and not allowing them to wreck at home? And that as a result they leave for college and wreck on their own without Mom or Dad there to coach them through their mistakes.
I know that I have very little validity when it comes to parenting, seeing how I don’t have and kids yet. But my mentor has more validity on parenting than anyone I know. He has 6 kids and is one of the best Dad’s I have ever seen in action. And these are his ideas not mine. So in the words of my mentor: “Let em’ Wreck”. Let kids fail, fall, and learn from their mistakes. If we don’t we’ll have a generation of teens in their twenties still using training wheels!