In general, parenting has two objectives — to protect and to prepare.
Not so long ago, a parent could do very little in the first category. Parents were very busy themselves trying to survive, and once a child reached the earliest age of responsibility, they had to fend for themselves. There was little most parents could do to make that process any easier.
Today, it’s quite possible for parents to protect their children well into their late teens or twenties, maybe even later. Unfortunately, this does their children little or no good. Not just because children need to figure out how to survive on their own for their own emotional health, but also because it’s just not possible to always protect our children.
Despite our best efforts, they will go through an equal, if not greater amount of crushing experiences as you have encountered – that’s life.
The truth is, it’s not just life, it’s the only way to live. As much as you might not like it as you go through it, those moments of self-discovery are the most meaningful parts of life.
Therefore, the biggest mistake we can make as a parent is to inadequately prepare our children, since we cannot adequately protect them.
That preparation is achieved by understanding that within every mistake lies the secret to our success.
This is a core Jewish principle: there is no mistake too big that we cannot learn from it and thereby improve ourselves
In other words, if you are willing to learn from your mistakes, then no mistake will ever set you back.
As long as your children know that whatever they do wrong, whatever mistakes they make in life, they can always learn from them and therefore turn the mess into a positive experience, then they can change the disaster into a success and they will always be prepared.