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When Did We Become This Desperate to Protect Our Kids from Failure?

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By now you’ve probably heard all the reports about Lori Loughlin and Felicity Huffman. And honestly, I’m still trying to process the fact that Aunt Becky was taken into custody and released on $1M bond.


Image via ABC7 News

But there’s something else about this college admissions cheating scandal that is eating me up – beyond the fact that we’re staring down the barrel of the biggest racketeering scheme in recent history.

When did we, as a society, become this desperate to protect our children from all failure and disappointment?

People are committing FELONIES. Spending absurd amounts of money. Breaking laws and tossing ethics to the wind. All to CHEAT their way into something they don’t deserve and haven’t earned.

When did we decide that success at any cost was more important than integrity?

When did the right school become more important than the hard work it should take to get there?

I get the desire to protect our kids from failure. I get the drive to push them to succeed and to not only hope for, but expect, the best for their lives. I do.

I understand wanting to give them every single chance at a future and doing whatever is within your means to make sure they’re set up to achieve.

But when did we decide that our society had no place for falling short? That perfection was the only option?

Yes, it hurts to watch our kids fail. And yes, it’s second nature to want to shield them from that.

But there’s so much that can be learned from our shortcomings. There’s so much growth that occurs when we don’t come out on top.

So what? We rob our kids of those lessons? We take away the opportunities for them to learn humility and perseverance, and instead sacrifice ourselves so they’ll never feel second best?

I hope not.

Because if that’s the way we’re going to raise the next generation, we’re going to create a world of entitled adults, who don’t know how to cope with defeat.

And wouldn’t we rather raise strong, persistent, hard-working adults, who know how to accept failure with grace, learn lessons, improve and aim for better next time?

I’d like to think so.

We’ve got to teach our kids that values, morals and character matter more than awards, accolades and prestige.

We’ve got to teach them to own their abilities – no matter how they rank against their peers.

We’ve got to accept our children for exactly who they are; not for who we always imagined they would become.

Because for the record, big-name universities aren’t for everyone, and that’s OK. There’s a lot to be said for hometown universities, community colleges and trade schools, too.

The world needs all kinds of people, with all kinds of skills, and to think that we’ve come to a place where people are risking prison time to ensure that their kids fit a certain mold, is absolutely insane.

We need to do better. We need to teach our children to do better. We need to create a culture where scandals like this are not only shocking, but appalling. And it starts with us, the parents.

So, let’s do better. Together.

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