As a parent, I view it as my job to share my wisdom with my children. You see, I’ve learned a few things in over three and a half decades on this planet. I believe that if I share these lessons with my offspring I’ll be able to save them some time and grief, because they won’t have to learn it all for themselves. I’ll be a superstar parent, and my kids will be all happy and healthy and well-adjusted and stuff, because their mother is so very wise.
It’s a lovely picture. Unfortunately, it doesn’t work that way, though. As any parent can tell you, there are some things that kids simply insist on learning the hard way. You can talk and warn until you’re blue in the face, but they need to experience those natural consequences in order to really get it. And when they do experience those natural consequences, you have to swallow the urge to say I told you so, and soothe their grief. Because, as it turns out, learning things the hard way is hard.
Here are some of the things my own children have insisted on learning the hard way, in spite of my attempts to warn them:
- If you let go of your balloon outside, it will very quickly disappear up into the sky, and you won’t be able to get it back.
- If you show a dog your ice cream cone / peanut butter sandwich / cookie, the dog will eat it.
- Once you cut hair off, there’s no putting it back on.
- If you leave the lids off all your markers, they will dry out and you won’t have any good markers left.
- If repeatedly chase the cat, and pull her fur, she will scratch you, and it will hurt.
- If you throw your electronic toy in the bath, it will never work the same way again.
I’m sure my kids aren’t the only ones who sometimes insist on learning things the hard way. What lessons have your kids learned on their own, in spite of your warnings?