+
upworthy
Family

Dad urges parents to stop worrying about giving their kids a 'good future'

"Isn't there something instead where the success could happen right now instead of 30 years down the road, if at all?"

parenting, abraham piper
@moreabrahampiper/TikTok

The future is uncertain. What can we give kids now?

A major part of parenting is setting kids up for as best an adult life as possible. It’s also a major source of every parent’s stress, as this is essentially a question without absolute answers.

Sure, there are many helpful strategies that can be implemented—setting up a college fund, enrolling into a great school, finding enriching activities—but even these cannot guarantee anything when the future is unwritten and the world continues changing at a rapid pace. Any jobless millennial still struggling to pay student loans for a prestigious university degree can tell you about that.

With all these unknown variables that could wreak havoc on even the best laid plan, what is a parent to do? Popular content creator and fellow dad Abraham Piper argues that maybe parents shouldn’t even make it a goal to provide a good future in the first place.

After all, it’s “impossible anyway,” he says in the now-viral clip.


“The future is uncertain. So, is it the best use of our parental energy, our love, to continue trying to achieve the impossible? Isn't there something instead where the success could happen right now instead of 30 years down the road, if at all?” Piper continued.

With this compelling logic, the goal should instead be on giving kids a “good past”, according to Piper. In other words, just focusing on providing a happy childhood every day. “Trips to the park, hugs before bed, letting them choose the music in the car,” etc. This kind of goal is not only achievable, it’s incredibly impactful.

Referencing Allison Gopnik’s book “The Philosophical Baby,” Piper added that one of the few aspects of a child’s adult life parents actually do get to determine is the quality of childhood that they bring into it. And considering that a huge part of one’s identity is based on core memories, a truly happy childhood is an “ ineradicable gift.”

Judging from the comments of other parents, Piper's advice struck a chord.

“As a parent who is working so hard to break the generational trauma cycle; my heart needed to hear this today," one person wrote.

"I feel that their future is not for me to control or project, it's their foundation that's my responsibility. For them to be secure and confident," added another.

@moreabrahampiper Don’t worry about giving your kids a good future. ❤️ #parenting #lifeadvice #alisongopnik #dadsoftiktok #parentingadvice #liveinthemoment ♬ original sound - Abraham Piper

The lingering effects that childhood trauma can have in adulthood are well documented— heightened anxiety, addiction, depression, difficulty in relationships, insomnia…the list goes on. And we have learned over time that trauma exists in a spectrum. It can manifest in many ways, not just physical abuse. Neglect, verbal bullying and parental separation play their parts as well.

On the bright side, research indicates that happy core memories have the same lasting effect. Studies show that even with the presence of early adversity, creating positive childhood experiences can still provide a foundation for creating better family health in adulthood.

While parents of course want to do whatever they can to help kids become successful, happy and healthy for the rest of their lives, perhaps constantly moving the goal posts isn’t in anyone’s best interests. At the end of the day, it might prove more fruitful (and more fulfilling) to focus one what is within one’s power now, rather than later.

As Piper noted: “The present, we can almost control. Or at least feel like it. And that feeling is all we’re dealing with here because we get to see our effort work right now and not just hope that they will."

An English doctor named Edward Jenner took incredible risks to try to rid his world of smallpox. Because of his efforts and the efforts of scientists like him, the only thing between deadly diseases like the ones below and extinction are people who refuse to vaccinate their kids. Don't be that parent.

Unfortunately, because of the misinformation from the anti-vaccination movement, some of these diseases have trended up in a really bad way over the past several years.

Keep ReadingShow less
Democracy

Comedian shuts down heckler cop after joke about police violence

“You disrespected me, so I’ll disrespect you.”

via Steve Hostetter

A comedian defends himself against a heckler police officer.

Some people just haven't gotten the memo: You really don't want to heckle comedian Steve Hofstetter. He's become one of my favorite stand-up acts both because he's just funny but also because of his brilliant ways of shutting down hecklers and other rude patrons who show up for his live act.

In this case, Hofstetter was in the middle of a bit where he quipped, "I don't like people." It was part of a larger joke recalling how he'd had a bad interaction with a police officer but that he was "still alive" because he was a white male.

Keep ReadingShow less
Family

Married couple swears by the '3-Hour Night' as a relationship game changer

"If you’re stuck in a rut with your evenings — try this!"

@racheleehiggins/TikTok

Want out of a relationship rut? The Three hour night might be the perfect solution.

Almost every long term relationship suffers from a rut eventually. That goes especially for married partners who become parents and have the added responsibility of raising kids. Maintaining a connection is hard enough in this busy, fast paced world. Top it off with making sure kids are awake, dressed, entertained, well fed, oh yeah, and alive…and you best believe all you have energy for at the end of the day is sitting on the couch barely making it through one episode on Netflix.

And yet, we know how important it is to maintain a connection with our spouses. Many of us just don’t know how to make that happen while juggling a million other things.

According to one mom, a “three-hour night” could be just the thing to tick off multiple boxes on the to-do list while rekindling romance at the same time. Talk about the ultimate marriage hack.

Keep ReadingShow less

New baby and a happy dad.


When San Francisco photographer Lisa Robinson was about to have her second child, she was both excited and nervous.

Sure, those are the feelings most moms-to-be experience before giving birth, but Lisa's nerves were tied to something different.

She and her husband already had a 9-year-old son but desperately wanted another baby. They spent years trying to get pregnant again, but after countless failed attempts and two miscarriages, they decided to stop trying.

Keep ReadingShow less

Having lived in small towns and large cities in the Pacific Northwest, Southwest, and Midwest, and after spending a year traveling around the U.S. with my family, I've seen first-hand that Americans have much more in common than not. I've also gotten to experience some of the cultural differences, subtle and not-so-subtle, real and not-so-real, that exist in various parts of the country.

Some of those differences are being discussed in a viral thread on Twitter. Self-described "West coaster" Jordan Green kicked it off with an observation about East coasters being kind and West coasters being nice, which then prompted people to share their own social experiences in various regions around the country.

Green wrote:

"When I describe East Coast vs West Coast culture to my friends I often say 'The East Coast is kind but not nice, the West Coast is nice but not kind,' and East Coasters immediately get it. West Coasters get mad.

Niceness is saying 'I'm so sorry you're cold,' while kindness may be 'Ugh, you've said that five times, here's a sweater!' Kindness is addressing the need, regardless of tone.

I'm a West Coaster through and through—born and raised in San Francisco, moved to Portland for college, and now live in Seattle. We're nice, but we're not kind. We'll listen to your rant politely, smile, and then never speak to you again. We hit mute in real life. ALOT.

Keep ReadingShow less
Joy

An 8-year-old snuck his handwritten book onto a library shelf. Now it has a 56-person waiting list.

Dillon Helbig's 81-page graphic novel— written by "Dillon His Self"—captured the hearts of his local librarians and their patrons.

Dillon Helbig's 81-page graphic novel captured the hearts of his local librarians.

Writing a book is no easy task, even for adult professional writers. Many would-be authors dream of a day when their work can be found on library shelves, unsure if it will ever come.

But for 8-year-old Dillon Helbig, that day has already arrived—in truly unconventional fashion—thanks to his own determination to make it happen.

Dillon wrote his 81-page graphic novel, "The Adventures of Dillon Helbig's Crismis" (written by "Dillon His Self") in a hardcover journal with colored pencils over the course of a few days. He even put a label on the back of the book that reads "Made in Idho" [sic] and put an illustrated spine label on it as well. Then, without telling anyone, he brought it to his local library in Boise, Idaho, and slipped it in among the books in the children's section.

Keep ReadingShow less