Tag Archives: the future

Good news for parents

Good news:  you cannot predict the future.  Parents can try,  but parents cannot predict, let alone  control  it. #parents

The future cannot be predicted or controlled.


Many try to predict how a child will fare in the future.  Most often such predictions are false. Proof, think about these big time childhood failures: Albert Einstein, Jim Carrey,  Benjamin Franklyn,  Richard Branson, Oprah Winfrey, Charlize Theron, and Steven Spielberg. Each one was an unlikely candidate  for success during their early years. .

Add to that the countless stories you hear about teachers and counselors predicting student failure that proved wrong.  Happened to me, happened to my kids.

Finally, think of the young addicts who get clean and sober and lead a good life.

The future cannot be predicted because the future is beyond our ability to control.

parenting advice

Not being able to predict or control the future does not mean giving up on doing the best you can to make sure  your children flourish.  It helps to understand more fully how complicated who we become is.

Jerome Kagan, Harvard  guru of human development, believes hundreds of factors shape who we are and who we become and how we change.  He lists these eight as high on his list and in the order each  appear in a child’s life:

  1. temperament and other inborn biological factors – for examples: a learning disability, your size, your brain power.
  2. Sibling position or lack of siblings.
  3. Identifications meaning who you think you are like, who you want to be like, as well as your heroes.
  4. What your parents do.  Kagan stresses the importance of  making the child feel valued, being consistently permissive or tough, teaching a set of  values.
  5. Social and school successes or failures.
  6. Community size: Kagan thinks small town life favors a child’s feeling competent in one field or another. Why? Less competition in general so even the less talented players get into the game and are value.
  7. The historical era you grew up between the ages of  twelve and twenty.
  8. Chance – and chance includes many things. I would have died early in my life, had I been born before the advent of penicillin. ;Oprah would not have achieved her success is born fifty years earlier. Illness and physical traumas change a person’s life course. The social class and families you are  born in are matters of chance. I am sure you can list many other chancy things.

The advice? Take positive predictions as hopes, negative ones as unproven. Teach your children to do the same.


Remember your job is to prepare your child for life in the real world not in the land of Happiness Now and Ever After. Encourage dreams, but also recognize the place chance plays in life.  Talk a bit about dreams you had to leave behind and how you coped.

Learning the 12 Easy Emotional Fitness Exercises and teaching  them to your children buffers the pain of failed dreams.  Go here to learn four of those exercises. 

Remember sharing is caring and share this post if you found it useful and think  another will also.


This post was inspired by this  Word Press Daily Post Prompt: There are 344 days remaining in the year. Describe what you’d like to be doing on day 211. (Hint: that’s July 30th.)

Links of interest





Parent advice designed to improve yours and your child’s Emotional Intelligence.  But first a cartoon that focuses on hocus-pocus parenting advice

The point? We all want to know what is coming, so we are well prepared.   Quite reasonably, all parents want  their children to be prepared for the future.  Nevertheless, the time you and your children have now is the time that matters most, for it is all we are promised.

Parenting tips

Parenting tip one: The future remains one of life’s unknowns and trying to predict what will happen even tomorrow does not always work.  That we cannot predict (or control) the future does not mean we shouldn’t make plans and prepare ourselves both for the good and bad that might await.

So why this post?  Because too many work too preparing the very young for school success.  Understandable as Western Culture believes the most direct path to the good life is a good education. Guess what? Not true. The best path to the good life, once  basic human needs for shelter, warmth, food, and safety have been  met, remains practicing kindness, one of the daily Twelve Easy Emotional Fitness Exercises.   

 Parenting tip two:  Good manners are the best way to practice kindness.

Parenting tip three:  Teaching good manners is easier than turning everyone into a Harvard Scholar; moreover, it can start as soon as your children start talking.

Parenting tip four: Stepping back a bit from pushing early learning might allow a bit more time for free play and free play builds creativity.

Free play means unstructured play, kids doing what they want with as little supervision or guidance as possible.  Safety first, but freedom-to-just-be next.  

Parenting tip five: Stepping back can also save you two things: time and money.


Remember what matters, laugh and play, find time for you, and practice kindness every way you can, where ever you can, as often as you can. Doing so makes your world a better place.


P.S. The Word Press Daily Prompt for today said to tell a story in which every line began with the same letter.  So here is my effort:

I ran into a bully.

I was scared.

I smiled at him.

I told him how glad I was to see him.

I gave  him a cookie.

I have a new friend.

Hokey, yes, but there it is and related to the subject of this blog post.

Articles of interest