A couple of years ago I watched an interview that got me thinking about a huge mistake we oftentimes make as parents. The interview was with former major league pitcher Jim Abbott. Abbott is best known as the guy who made it to the major leagues in spite of being born without a hand on his right arm. During the interview, Abbott talked about his physical disability, how he was taught to handle it growing up, and what he learned as a result of having to overcome his differences from others. Abbott was emphatic about the fact that all the difficulties and taunts during his childhood made him a better man. In other words, his parents helped him navigate the challenges, but never shielded him or softened the blows in order to make his life easier. In today’s world, too many kids miss out on developing in healthy ways due to parents who bubble-wrap and shield them from difficulties, consequences, and the hard realities of life. Suffering is God’s curriculum for healthy growth.