Launching Pad

A parent ought to encourage his or her child to (quoting an old Spanish proverb) ‘Take what you want—and pay for it.’ In other words, go after what you want in life, and make sure to be reality-oriented in the process. A parent might raise legitimate questions about a child’s aspirations, but won’t openly discourage them. It’s not an issue of the parent selflessly leaving the child alone, as is commonly thought. It’s a matter of personally wanting the child to actualize all his or her talents and be happy. Seeing the child develop into a great person selfishly makes the parent happy. Good parents are not controlling, but they’re not indifferent, either. Parents are there to launch the child into life, while not living life for the child.