Growing Up: Not a Job for Kids

Kids don’t have the smarts or the experience to grow up decently.  How can they?  They’ve never done it before, and they have no frame of reference to gauge the quality (or lack of it) to know how well they are progressing.

Basically, they are forced to “wing it” and flounder about and try to learn by trial and error.  This is a very time-consuming and expensive process.  It can also be very painful for themselves and their family and friends.


Sure, given the advantage of years of experience and lessons learned, wisdom is gained and much better decisions are made.  But these advantages can come at a considerable cost, not only to the kid but to other innocent people who have been impacted by his or her influence.

A Personal Experience

There was a time when this writer, as a pre-teen, went with his family to a ritzy town on the California coast to walk the streets and view the fancy shops.  It was a new experience for him, and he rather enjoyed pretending he was at home in this upper-class, upscale shopping district.

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He was several steps behind his mom while walking down the street when he came to an intersection where a side street joined the main drag.  His mom, from the other side of the street, turned around to make sure he safely followed across the street to join her.

A late model expensive car occupied by an obviously well-todo couple who were clearly a part of this prosperous community was just pulling up to the crosswalk.  The driver kindly stopped well short of the crosswalk to allow plenty of room for the said kid to safely make his way to the sidewalk on the other side of the street.

The kid considered this to be the appropriate time and place to demonstrate that he, too, was a natural part of this fine community.  So, he raised his eyebrows, and with a slight increase in the altitude of his nose, he arrogantly strutted across the street in front of the couple in the car.

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His arrogance soon came to a sudden and abrupt stop.  His mom minced no words in clearly delineating to him the error of his ways.  He came to clearly see that he had done well in playing the part of a fool.

While not particularly pleasant, the experience did go a long way to help me understand that cherishing pride is not in my best interest, so I have spent some effort to avoid displaying it.  Becoming a senior has also contributed to the growth process.

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My brothers and I were fortunate to have a mom who was fully engaged in our lives.  As seniors, we too can assist our kids in teaching the grandkids to keep their noses from becoming too elevated.  Becoming prideful may be the natural thing to do, but it is in no one's best interest.  

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