Trust & Fear

Parents usually try to protect their kids, of course. I do that too. But recently I have realized that too much protection isn’t good. How many times I told my kids, “don’t do that since you might get hurt”, “don’t do this since it’s dangerous” or “wait, wait, be carefully, I’ll do that better for you”. Suddenly I am realizing this is well-intentioned, but doesn’t help my kids the way I expected initially.

What’s the result? Kids develop fears, fears to do something wrong, fears to get hurt. Is this what I wanted? Definitely not. Remember back, what have been your major lessons and remember what led to them. Why do you remember some lessons very well? Exactly, since they are the result of a big failure or pain. Yeah, when we fail we generally learn more and more lasting.

Who am I to take my kids the chance to learn from their own failures? Who am I to avoid that my kids learn from experience? But yes, it is so easy to prohibit or warn and to raise your index finger in case your child tries anyways and fails. It’s so easy, but it’s so selfish and wrong too. Of course it is much more effort to show trust into your kids, to let them make their own experiences, to learn out of their own failures. This requires much more trust and strength.

I believe the parent task is not to prevent failures of their kids. Let them fail, let them get hurt (of course only to a certain degree). The task is rather to make sure your kids learn something from it, to make your kids understand that failing is normal and belongs to the process to develop, that failure is no issue as long as you learn from it, as long as you don’t do mistakes twice. And sometimes you need to get hurt to understand things, that’s part of the game. This task is much more demanding than just warning, this task requires trust, willpower, understanding, but this way your kids will benefit most.

Trust your kids and don’t show your fear. This helps your kids to grow to adults with trust and no fears. They will reward it. Raising kids is challenging, isn’t it?


You are waiting at the counter of your favorite fast food chain. In front of you is a mother with a little boy, ordering some food. The boy lies on the counter, playing, screaming and hitting you with his pedaling feet. Will you tolerate this behavior or will you say something?

Another example. The neighbors kid is at your home, playing with your son. Some toys break because the neighbors son is throwing them around. It’s not the first time that this happens. You know your son has this toy for a long time now, is proud of it and took care of it so far. You can see the incomprehension in your sons eyes. Will this raise anger in you?

Third one. Neighbors little daughter is using low class words you don’t use in your family. Your little one is looking at her with wide eyes and you can read in her face the question “Oh my god, did she really say this now?”. Would this be tolerable?

All this boils down to limits. Do you set your kids limits? If yes where? Here exist a lot of different opinions. And that’s okay. I have my own opinion here too. I think kids need limits. Not for all and every detail, but they need to learn the game might change when crossing a certain border.

How many times I have heard how lucky I am, since my kids are so calm. NO, I am not lucky! This is the result of setting limits. These kids know that they are crossing a boarder when they scream around without reason, when they break a toy of somebody else intentionally, they know there are rules in behavior. They are not calm just because of luck, they are because we have taught them so.

Or how many times I have heard “No wonder your kids are calm and balanced since you are too”. NO, wrong. How can I teach my kids to behave civilized when I behave contrary? I behave the way i want my kids to behave. Teaching by example. Again it’s the result of decent education and not luck since I might be calm accidentally and nature given.

Another one: “Oh my son is so active and briskly, that’s why he is doing all this”. NO, wrong again! That’s only an excuse. When he does not know limits, how should he know what’s wrong behavior? How should your children know what is good and what is bad if you do not teach them, if you do not show them? How should your children know when everything is allowed without consequences? How should your children value something correctly when values don’t matter?

So what makes the difference? In my opinion limits are the key. Teaching the kids, they can go until here, but not further. Here is a boundary you should not cross. You are free within these limits, but when you cross them, you should know that this crossing has a price.

And what comes usually as next resposnse? “When restricting kids, they are not able to develop themselves, to develop self-confidence, to try out things, …” WRONG! This is also possible within limits, if you set limits advisedly, not to tight and only when necessary.

“Limit” is a kind of negatively biased word. But for me it helps me to make a better human out of myself and to prepare my kids for life. For me it is a positive word. Isn’t it?



Power of the Moment

Raising kids is a challenge. If you would have asked me some years ago I would have denied that. In the meantime I know it’s everything else than simple. Every second you are spending with your kid and every word can change the behavior of your descendant long-term. I am sure you are remembering some key moments of your childhood which triggered something in you. Something like “I’ll never will behave this way” or “Wow, that’s great, I wanna be that way too.” If mom screams her lungs out when she meets a spider, what will the little daughter girl think? Yeah, she will think what a scary and dangerous animal and most probably will be scared by spiders too.

The problem now is, you don’t know all time when your child has such an important game-changing moment. You might not see if something burns into a kids mind as a response of your behavior in that moment. Sometimes you will find out days later, when your kid brings up a topic again which you already forgot. Like “Daddy, why did you say that …”. You don’t even remember clearly what you said exactly many days ago and then you are realizing that this single unimportant comment, mentioned along away, not even necessarily to your child, makes your kid think, thinking over a longer period of time. It became so important for you child that she is asking questions regarding to this many days afterwards.

Sometimes parents never will find out which moments influenced their kids and to which degree. But is this really a problem? Do you really need to know all these trigger moments? Can you control these moments and what they trigger actively? I don’t think so. I rather believe you should think about your behavior first. When you behave all time as you would like your kids to behave, I think these triggering moments will be positive triggers most of the time. And that’s all I can do and in fact that’s all I want. Isn’t it?