Parents, Take the Bubble Wrap off Your Kid

By Janis Meredith | Posted 4/24/2019

We all want to see our kids succeed in sports, but that desire often pushes parents to do things that actually stunt their kids’ mental and emotional development. 

As parents try to keep kids from disappointment, they wrap them in imaginary bubble wrap, thinking that a child’s self-esteem will be damaged if they experience failure or frustration. 

Of course your job is to make them feel loved and help them experience success, but that doesn’t mean you must shield them from reality. In fact, the opposite is true. Healthy self-esteem develops when caring adults help kids persevere through hard situations. 

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Here are three ways to slowly take off the bubble wrap, so that your kids learn to face reality, and you can comfortably watch them handle things on their own. 

Give Your Kids Permission to Fail 

Life teaches lessons in a way that parenting often cannot, which is especially true when your kids experience failure. Instead of seeing failure as a devastation, help your child see it as an opportunity to learn. Give them grace when they make mistakes and let them learn to work through it. It’ll build their emotional muscles and help them see failures aren’t end of the world. 

Pain Can Be a Teacher 

No parent wants to watch a child suffer emotional pain. Our natural instinct is to ride in like a knight in shining armor and take them out of the pain, but sometimes that may not be the best thing for your child. When your child cries in the dugout because he struck out three times in a row, that’s painful for him but it will teach a lesson. 

You could, of course, keep your child out of sports so they wouldn’t experience heartbreak, but instead of removing your kids from situations that may produce pain, help them learn how to navigate through those times. 

Let Your Kids Learn to Fight 

Stop rescuing your child every time he or she faces a challenge. Children who are constantly rescued and do not have to fight for anything become entitled adults. Instead of removing all obstacles, tell your child that they have what it takes to overcome adversity and talk about ways they can beat it. 

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I’ve seen kids who have been bubble wrapped for too long. They are emotionally fragile, entitled and shallow. Their parents did them no favors by being over-protective. 

Unwrap your kids and watch them take off! 

Janis Meredith is a family coach who wants to help all parents raise champions. You can find out more at