I catch myself getting exasperated with my children sometimes when they don’t know things I know. Case in point: If you hide your dirty clothes instead of putting them in the hamper to be washed, you will get up one morning and have nothing to wear. “When will they learn?” I think, as I pull wads of socks and pants from under beds before realizing, oh, that’s right — now is when they’ll learn.
I may have found out the hard way as a youngster that sneaking a jumbo bag of candy makes me sick, but my children won’t believe it until they’ve done it. They also have to figure out for themselves that putting off projects to the last minute doesn’t pay off, that manners matter, that you’ll almost always regret cutting your own hair in the mirror with kitchen scissors. It drives me nuts, but that’s how it works: Children repeat our mistakes, because they aren’t born with their parents’ formative experiences baked into their brains.
I’ve been thinking about this as I read the news lately. Just as our children don’t come into the world knowing everything we know, humanity doesn’t always move forward with the lessons of the past intact. . . (Read the rest at The Washington Post.)