Expecting more from—and for—kids

Last month at their annual parent education event hosted by Challenge Success, over 900 parents showed up to explore two questions: (1) How do we love our children unconditionally and still hold them to high expectations? (2) How do we protect our children while letting them learn life lessons?

For those of us who weren’t among the local 900 in attendance, they shared a video of the entire 90-minute presentation, almost all of which is worth watching. If you’d rather not watch the entire thing, here’s a screenshot of an email they sent with the timestamps for particular topics touched on during the presentation. Please don’t skip the short clip that begins at the two-minute mark. It’s a video they showed attendees featuring students at La Canada High School who answered:

  • How does your school define success?
  • How do you personally define success?
  • What do you wish the adults at your school knew?
  • What do you wish your parents knew?

I found the responses both hopeful and heartbreaking.

Today’s kids are living and learning in a very different world than their parents did when they were in high school. And today’s parents often find themselves in uncharted child-rearing waters. There are no simple, step-by-step parenting guidelines to be found, and Challenge Success doesn’t purport to offer any. But their message and their teachings are inspiring. When we care more about raising kids who can thrive in the world of tomorrow than we do about raising kids who can thrive on the transcripts and tests of today, we’re expecting more from—and for—our kids, not less.