The best thing my parents ever did for my development, growth, and confidence was to cut me off.
At 20 years old, my parents told me to move out, fend for myself, and figure out my life. Not saying they weren’t there for me if I made a colossal mistake, but they forced me to find a crappy apartment on my own (with Mitchell Clemens), work 60 hours a week at a crappy job (RIP Circuit City), and learn how to live as a responsible adult.
Of course, as a 20-year-old I totally resented them for this. They could have easily carried me, coddled me, and enabled me, but instead, they made the hard decision – they forced me to grow. They knew it wouldn’t be easy, and they knew it would likely strain our relationship. But their #1 priority was to be parents – not popular.
But today, I am truly grateful that my parents didn’t treat me like a unique snowflake. I am so grateful they treated me like an adult, and forced me to grow up. I learned how to fend for myself, I learned how to hustle, I learned that I can count on myself. Those lessons are invaluable.
In an era of entitled brats, with people that want millions before they’ve earned thousands and people that want 6-packs without going to the gym, I’m so glad my parents taught me the value of hard work and self-reliance. Parenting is not about giving your kids everything they want – it’s giving them what they need so they can be their best selves.