I always thought the job of a parent was to teach kids the answers.

How to save for college.  How to drive a car.  How to get a job.

Turns out, the only way I ever learned was the hard way.

The time I got busted for shoplifting as a child.  The time I let a homeless man give me an IOU for $40 in college.  The time I got fired after calling in sick for a bar shift and then showed up later that night (at that bar!) for a drink.

Sean Hutchison is one of the best swimming coaches in the world.  He’s coached many national and olympic champions.  He said on the Finding Mastery podcast that kids with “helicopter” parents might get lucky once or twice in high pressure races.  But they never do well consistently.

“Parents who won’t let go have kids that crumble.”

Along the same lines, Eric Tyson who wrote that children should be given an allowance so they can make mistakes with money before it really matters.

I like that a lot.  The most successful people in life always have just as many spectacular failures.  Probably far more.

I still don’t know what my job is as a parent, but I suspect it’s helping my kids learn to be self reliant.

And mostly getting the hell out of the way.