It's been said that our kids are our most precious commodity but with the world shaping up the way it is, I can't help but wonder if the children of today are just too precious full stop.

The teaching of tolerance, acceptance and inclusiveness have become standard in most homes and schools, which is a good thing ... up to a point.

But seriously, just how much more tolerance can we tolerate if we are not prepared to also teach our children about life's other realities like failure, intolerance and the fact that everyone, whether right or wrong, is entitled to their own, maybe differing opinion.

It's one thing to encourage your kids to be who and whatever they want to be just as long as we temper that ideal wish with what they can expect to face out in the real world, away from the safe and supported environment of homes and schools.


For years now, we have been wrapping our kids up in cotton wool, to the point of almost stifling them.

We now discourage them from climbing trees and playing on monkey bars for fear they will fall and hurt themselves and if and when they do, we then play the blame game. It can never be the child was just clumsy and accidents happen, instead, we tell them it was the school's fault for not having suitable protective padding under the playground equipment or the tree was a hazard and should have been fenced off or felled. They did nothing wrong, the failure was not theirs, perish the thought.

Instead, we prefer to give them a certificate for being brave in the face of adversity which is naturally perceived to be yet another form of success.

How can anyone truly come to appreciate the real successes in their lives until they have experienced what failure feels like?

We should be teaching our kids that failure is nothing to be ashamed of and that learning by failing is, in fact, one of life's most valuable lessons.

By not doing this we are, ironically, setting our kids up to fail. They go from being molly-coddled, rewarded, readily accepted with few, if any limits imposed and where the word NO is rarely heard, into a world that operates on a very different set of rules.

They then encounter the very harsh realities of regulations and acceptable boundaries, where you can't just throw a hissy fit at work because you don't get your own way and where instead of being surrounded by those who love and accept you and have your back, you will encounter those who may be opposed to you and your life choices.

Combine the above with the added pressure of social media and online activity and it becomes understandable why kids are getting depressed after encountering, maybe for the first time, such negative and intolerant feedback.

In a world that now encourages things like gender neutrality and sexual fluidity, we must also realise that many people are not yet ready to accept and embrace these concepts and educate our kids to be tolerant and accepting of their opinions.

We must teach them too, that failing and being made to feel like a failure are two completely different things as are equating success with happiness and self-worth.

If we really want our kids to succeed in life then they deserve the truth about how cruel the world can be. Change will come, but not always at the pace that we would like it to.