I don’t claim to know everything about parenting, but I do know parents do their children a disservice by constantly sugarcoating their shortcomings to protect their feelings. I can’t think of a more surefire way to raise a loser than not allowing a child to learn what it really takes to be a winner.
Not that everything in life is a competition. But if children can’t handle competition when it’s necessary, or take some criticism, or never strive to be better because their parents inadvertently programmed them to believe they are already the best even when they’re not, then they are in for some serious shocks and bumps down the road.
That’s the part of the discussion that’s missing from all the chatter about David McCullough Jr.’s controversial “You Are Not Special” commencement speech. He didn’t call the Wellesley High School Class of 2012 a bunch of lowlifes who won’t amount to anything. Rather, he was adjusting their lenses so that they could see the world they were about to enter more clearly.