We all instinctively want to protect our little ones from the big, bad world. It's human nature.
But the thing is, we can't protect them. Not all of the time, anyway. And if we try to, we won't be doing them any favours.
Why? Because as soon as they grow up, they'll realise that the world's not all sweetness and light, and it'll hit them like a tonne of bricks.
Much better to gradually break it to them instead. That way they'll be more prepared for the realities of life and its never-ending challenges.
Here are six realities of life that you'd be wise to teach your kids...
Bad people exist
Very bad people. People who harm others, on purpose, and enjoy it.
But there are also good people. In fact, most people are decent, law-abiding citizens who just want to live decent lives. And it's important to be one of these people, not just for those we love, but for strangers too.
The more kindness out there, the better our chances of drowning out the not so kind...
You can't please everyone
So don't try. Be yourself, but be the very best version of yourself. That way, even when you come across someone who doesn't seem to like you much, you know yourself that it's not because you're mean and unlikable.
The world is a unique and curious place because we're all into different things. And it's okay if someone doesn't like you, because for every person whose cup of tea you're not, there'll be a handful of others who totally dig you. Promise.
Life is not fair - at all
This is probably THE most important harsh reality your kids need to hear.
Sure, it's harsh, but there is one fair thing about it: it's unfair to every single one of us. Wise words, as we all have our own cross to bear in some shape or form.
Even when you do things right, they sometimes end up going wrong anyway. That's just the nature of living, and all you can do it put your best foot forward and try again.
The world doesn't owe you anything
This is something that children who grow up spoiled just do not get. And that's sad, because it often renders them quitters.
They don't get what they want first time, so they give up. Meanwhile, their non-spoiled friends try, try and try again, and eventually succeed, leaving the spoiled behind...
You really want to avoid raising kids like that. Instead, teach them that they should always do their best; that you won't succeed unless you put in the hard work and effort.
Unfortunately, sometimes things still won't work out...but the better your efforts, the more likely it is that your dreams will come true.
You cannot be whatever you want to be
These days, it's common to hear parents telling their kids that they be whatever they want, do whatever they please.
Thanks, TV talent shows, but that's a myth and nothing more.
Sure, we all want to raise our kids to believe in themselves, and have a sense of self-worth and self-esteem. But it's important to be realistic, too.
If your child can barely handle long division, they're unlikely to ever land a job at Google. If they hardly hold a note, it's probably best not to encourage their X Factor aspirations...
Things will happen to you that make you sad
We all know someone for whom life just seems to fall into place at every turn. But even they will face trials and tribulations at some point in life. We all will.
Someone will say something that hurts your feelings. A friendship will dissolve. Someone you love will die. These are realities of life, and they cannot be avoided.
But remember: it's not what happens to us in life, it's how we deal with it. Tough times make for tough characters, if you do your best to push through with positivity and effort. And remember, it helps to talk about it with those who love you.
Failure is the first step towards success
Often, success is something that comes after failure. That's because, generally, practise makes perfect.
And that applies to everything, from building fulfilling friendships and relationships, to setting up a successful business.
Sure, failure hurts, but it's an opportunity to learn something...and hopefully that something will help you to get it right the next time!