My Only Piece of Parenting Advice.

“Don’t handicap your children by making their lives too easy.”


My granddaughter Hazel is now 10 weeks old.

Maryanne and I recently spent a blissful week at our Shoreham beach house with Hazel and new parent’s Max & Bec.

How can a compact feeding machine that sleeps for 18 hours a day effortlessly command so much of your attention.

Hazel is one lucky baby. She hit the jackpot. Max & Bec are natural parents, they are well informed, relaxed, and confident.

I have no doubt they will be just fine without any advice from Grandpa Dave, but I’m going to put it on the record anyway.


“There are two gifts we should give our children, one is roots, and the other is wings.” Pinterest


The advantage of being a grandparent is that you get to pull back and see the big picture.

So, my only piece of parenting advice is, against all parenting traits and tendencies, don’t make your children’s lives too easy.

Micromanaging doesn’t work in the office, doesn’t work on the sports field, and certainly doesn’t work with your children.

Good parenting is synonymous with good leadership and good coaching.


“Exceptional leaders don't micromanage to avoid errors; they encourage autonomy and empower their team with the freedom to innovate. Rather than intervening at the first sign of trouble, they adopt a coaching stance, allowing employees to navigate challenges and extract valuable lessons from ambiguity and setbacks.” Robert Glazer


Esther Perel, the well-known Belgian-American psychotherapist, asks all her clients/patients a simple question at their first counselling sessions, “How much unstructured play out on the street did you have growing up?”

(Quick sidebar: if you haven’t listened to any of Esther’s Ted Talks or podcasts, please sit down and do so. She is a legend, and I don’t use that word lightly).


Esther is adamant that unregulated and unstructured play outdoors with other kids in the neighbourhood is vital for developing resilience, creativity, confidence, responsibility, social skills and decision making skills. All children need time and space to experiment, make mistakes and to learn how to be themselves.


“Parents must prepare children for the path, instead of the path for the children.” Tim Elmore


This sort of freedom for kids is not that easy for families that live in today’s urban environment. But regular weekends or vacations camping, days at the beach, or spending time in the mountains where your kids can find freedom to explore, and play is a fitting substitute.


The biggest challenge is for parents to just let free play happen and not get involved.


The common term for micromanaging your kids is “helicopter parenting” So my advice is to do the opposite and be an “empowering parent.”


Empowering parents allow their kids to make mistakes then support and encourage them to connect the dots between their actions and the outcomes.


“To let go, you actually need to let go.

In parenting we should aim to be bird launchers rather than nest builders.” Robert Glazer


Thanks for reading,

Stay safe and my apologies if you are not a parent!


Share this via share via facebook share via twitter share via Google Plus share via pinterest share via email

Website Security Test