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For years, I’ve counted myself among a few writers who trumpet the old school notion that our job as parents is to make ourselves unnecessary. Michele Borba, Loraine Skenazy, Lori Borgman, Betsy Hart and others have echoed my plea to parents to focus their attention on the condition of their children’s hearts, not on test scores and travel teams and audition-only ensembles and gifted-and-talented programs that might result in “greater opportunities” down the road.

The road is actually pretty short, and it’s fraught with pitfalls for a person whose conscience and character were left flapping in the breeze while driving to the math tutor.

And at last, Mr. Tough’s book confirms what we writer-moms keep saying in column after column, blog after blog: It’s who we are that defines what we do with our lives.

Our kids deserve to learn this — the hard way — which is the only way there is.

Marybeth Hicks is the author of “Don’t Let the Kids Drink the Kool-Aid: Confronting the Left’s Assault on Our Families, Faith and Freedom.” Find her at