No, We’re Not Raising Kids To Be ‘Too Soft’

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Kids are too soft these days.

I rolled my eyes and tuned out the parent next to me at the youth baseball game when they started on a tirade about ‘today’s kids.’

The truth is, I’m tired of hearing people say we are raising a generation of soft kids.

When did we all agree that we wanted to raise tough kids anyways?

Why should our goal be to raise kids who slough off danger like it’s no big deal?

Why should our goal be to raise kids who tolerate being bullied by their parents?

Why should our goal be to raise kids who don’t know how to express any feelings other than anger?

I know the answer that parents like the one next to me will give.

‘We can’t raise soft kids because life isn’t fair.’

‘People are going to be mean to our children when they are adults.’

‘Kids need to develop a thick skin to make it in this cruel world.’

I just don’t buy it.

What if we all tried to raise soft kids instead of pressuring them to be tough all the time?

Kids who aren’t afraid to express their feelings, emotions, and will likely be better partners and parents for it.

Kids who notice other people hurting in the world and want to help create change, rather than place blame.

Kids who let their heart, rather than their pride or arrogance, guide them in life.

If having soft kids means having kids who know the power behind their words and choose kindness over hate, then let me have soft kids.

If raising soft kids means that they don’t have to listen to me shouting criticisms at them in front of their teammates, coaches, and opponents, then I hope they turn out soft.

If raising soft kids means that I have kids who don’t tolerate racism, prejudice, and hate, then I hope I raise soft kids.

Maybe all these soft kids can help make the world a better place. Isn’t that a better option than throwing our hands up and conceding that the world sucks?

Maybe I’m just too soft myself but I have hope that we can do better.

We have to do better.”

mother wearing black and white striped shirt looking closely into camera
Courtesy of Jenni Brennan

This article was submitted to Love What Matters by Jenni Brennan. You can follow her on Instagram. Join the Love What Matters family and subscribe to our newsletter.

Read more from Jenni here:

The ‘Perfect’ Family Is A Myth, And It’s Time We Realize It

Walk Away From The Things And People That Drain Your Energy—Even If It Feels Too Hard

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