Don’t Coddle Our Children

Taken from an Internet post that has been making the rounds. I would love to attribute this composition if possible. Putting it here so that I can find it again.

HandsA young man went to seek an important position at a large printing company. He passed the initial interview and was going to meet the director for the final interview. The director saw his resume, it was excellent. And asked, “Have you received a scholarship for school?” The boy replied, “No”.

“Was your father who paid for your studies?” Yes,  the young man replied. Where does your father work? My father is a Blacksmith.”

The Director asked the young man to show him his hands. The young man showed a pair of hands soft and perfect. “Have you ever helped your parents at their job?” “No, my parents always wanted me to study and read more books. Besides, he can do the job better than me.”

The director said, “I have got a request: When you go home today, go and wash the hands of your father and then come see me tomorrow morning.” The young man felt his chance to get the job was high.

When he returned to his house he asked his father if he would allow him to wash his hands.
His father felt strange, happy, but with mixed feelings and showed his hands to his son. The young man washed his hands, little by little. It was the first time that he noticed his father’s hands were wrinkled and they had so many scars. Some bruises were so painful that his skin shuddered when he touched them.

This was the first time that the young man recognized what it meant for this pair of hands to work every day to be able to pay for his studies. The bruises on the hands were the price that his father paid for his education, his school activities, and his future.
After cleaning his father’s hands the young man stood in silence and began to tidy and clean up the workshop. That night, father and son talked for a long time.

The next morning, the young man went to the office of the director. The Director noticed the tears in the eyes of the young man when He asked him, “Can you tell me what you did and what you learned yesterday at your house?” The boy replied, “I washed my father’s hands and when I finished I stayed and cleaned his workshop.”

“Now I know what it is to appreciate and recognize that without my parents, I would not be who I am today. By helping my father I now realize how difficult and hard it is to do something on my own. I have come to appreciate the importance and the value in helping my family.”

The director said, “This is what I look for in my people. I want to hire someone who can appreciate the help of others, a person who knows the hardship others go through to accomplish things, and a person who realizes that money is not his only goal in life. You are hired.”

A child that has been coddled, protected and given everything he or she wants, develops a mentality of “I have the right” and will always put himself or herself first, ignoring the efforts of parents, family and friends. If we are this type of protective parent are we really showing love or are we helping to destroy our children?

You can give your child their own room in a big house, good food, a computer, tablet, cell phone, and a big screen TV, but when you’re washing the floor or painting a wall, children need to experience that too.

After eating, have them wash the dishes with their brothers and sisters. Let them fold laundry or cook with you, pull weeds or mow the lawn. You are not doing this because you are poor and can’t afford help. You are doing this because you love them and want them to understand certain things about life.

Children need to learn to appreciate the amount of effort it takes to do a job right. They need to experience the difficulties in life that people must overcome to be successful and they must learn about failure to be able to succeed.

Children must also learn how to work and play with others and that they will not always win, but they can always work harder to reach their goals. If they’ve done their best, then they can take pride in all the effort they put forth.

Life is about giving and serving and these qualities should be taught in our homes.

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About Gandalfe

Just an itinerant saxophonist trying to find life between the changes. I have retired from the Corps of Engineers and Microsoft. I am an admin on the Woodwind Forum, run the Microsoft Jumpin' Jive Orchestra, and enjoy time with family and friends.
This entry was posted in Family, Guides, teachers and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Don’t Coddle Our Children

  1. juliovaz says:

    This is a great story and definitely needs to be shared with all.

  2. Rick Wallace says:

    Thanks for posting this great life lesson!

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