Childhood is life, not preparation for life
There is a large industry in America devoted to making parents anxious, mainly so they will spend money on products and services that temporarily ease their anxieties. One recurring theme in that industry’s messaging is preparation.
To pick an example out of a hat, one popular recent parenting book is called How to Raise an Adult: Break Free of the Overparenting Trap and Prepare Your Kid for Success. Yes, after years of pressuring parents to do more, the parenting industry is now pressuring them to do less. Either way, the goal is the same: Prepare Your Kid for Success. Your child must be carefully tended to, exposed to the proper amount and intensity of stimulation, challenged but never discouraged, socialized but also individuated, taught the right skills and sent to the right lessons and schools but definitely not overparented … all to maximize her chances of Adult Success.
Remember the research, though. Most of your parenting choices pale in significance to who you are, how much money you make, and where you live. Within those parameters, your choices are unlikely to substantially affect your kid’s Adult Success at all. Whether she succeeds as an adult has to do with her genes, her friends, and a whole boatload of luck and circumstance.