As a parent, what is your major responsibility concerning the development of your child? Is it providing a roof, or is it making sure he or she has something to eat? Is it ensuring they are provided with all the necessities that society dictates are necessary; new clothing, the latest in technological gadgets, a great car? Are these the things that lead in the development of a "whole" person?
Do you choose for your child the clothing he will wear, the way he will cut and comb his hair, where he will go to school, what he will study? Have you selected a career choice for her? Did you select a sport for him to play, or denied her an opportunity you yourself did not find acceptable or appealing? Do you find it strange that once he has left home he is often drifting through his life with "unsavory" companions? Does the choice of a girl or boyfriend have to meet with your approval? How many times have you heard someone remark, "I just can't understand how she ended-up with a guy like that!"? In short, has your effort in the development of your child been centered on cloning yourself? Have you unwittingly immersed this person into the fantasy of what you wanted for yourself? Will he or she fulfill YOUR life? Is that what children do for us? Aren't we often disappointed when they don't?
Every person born into this environment is unique. Each is here on his or her own mission, fulfilling their own agenda. Our purpose as parents is to nurture this person, to provide an environment that will sustain that effort. Exposure is one of the key elements, in that every child will find his heart's desire if only he is given the opportunity to search for it. Allowance is not how much money you give your child on a weekly basis, but rather the room you give him to grow in.
Of course, I am not advocating anarchy. There must be a control element administered to everything that grows, but if you overwater a plant it will die, likewise with the opposite. The proper amount of sunlight is required. Life must be nourished, but nourishment takes many forms if it is to unfold successfully and completely.
It is easy to recognize those individuals who have been allowed to become the potential they personified at a young age. They were allowed to grow into themselves and be the people they were meant to be, confident in their own identity and the direction in which they travel, finding the joy that is always available at their fingertips.