A Funny Story for New Parents

We asked a friend about her first child, a 1-year-old daughter.

“She just learned to climb the stairs,” the friend said, “and when she got to the top stair, she stood up suddenly all excited and started clapping her hands.

“We were right behind her and caught her as she fell. But she did freak out about losing her balance. But I guess it’s OK to be a little scared about losing your balance on the top stair…”

“Well done!” I said, “That event is a symbol for the rest of your parenting life. You encourage your child to move up and ahead. Your job is not to prevent mistakes, because mistakes teach them to avoid foolishness. Your job is to ensure those mistakes aren’t catastrophic–undoing all the progress they’ve made.

“Soon you’ll be in my situation, trying to do all this with my daughter at the wheel of our car!”

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Updated at: 10 March 2015 9:03 PM