One of the biggest mistakes is overprotection. We try to make their lives so simple that we end up making them unadaptable. In the end, they will walk through life as if on crutches — they will not be able to overcome the obstacles in their way. It's about being on their side, but not in front of them: always stay a few steps behind, just in case they happen to fall.
Every child needs guidelines, standards, limits; it's a mistake not to establish them, just like it's a mistake to think it's not a big deal, and give in to avoid the big evils. This is something we see in many parents. And we should not make children who are well behaved give in because of their siblings. Let's not sacrifice any of them, but it is nearly always the best behaved one, for the sake of another who has more difficulties, which is grossly unfair. But there is a fundamental issue that concerns us very much: let's teach them to think, let's teach them to reason. We know that happiness lies in generosity. Most children today are educated in consumerism, and if we give them everything in exchange for nothing, they start not valuing things, and not valuing people. This is a great drama. In short, let's not be friends, let's not overprotect, let's not give in sometimes to avoid greater evils. Let us put in place a series of guidelines, standards, clearly established limits, act on the basis of how each child is and, with that singularity, let us unify criteria among parents. Let us treat them according to their age and their individuality, and let us always place our trust in them, and trust in ourselves.
A child must be frustrated in order to learn and to develop resources. This is one of the great struggles we have. Currently at psychology practices, we are seeing young people aged between 18 and 30 most frequently. Twenty years ago, young people didn't go to a psychology center, and their parents brought them to you only when they were very desperate. Now why do they come? Because they have no resources to face life; they have never had obstacles — they have never been given the tools. Imagine a baby who wants to start walking. What do they do? They try to get up, and fall down. Frustration is actually the journey to knowledge, and that is the key to intelligence. Of course you have to be frustrated, because if you are not, you won't live, because you have to experience things, and you have to realize when you're right and when you're wrong, and you have to learn from those mistakes. Children who do not get frustrated do not learn in life. In life, they will have difficult circumstances; moments when we won't be there to help; times when they are really alone. Since these have not prepared those resources, they will have a very difficult time. Frustration is necessary.