Today is Wednesday, June 26, 2013.
Life is experiential. Experience is why Souls come into physical bodies to live on this earth. There's something about doing things for yourself that makes the lesson part of who you are. The experience alters or enhances each Soul's basic energy signature.
In the same way that we can recognize the same person at age 5, at 25, 45 and 65, Soul has a basic energy signature, like a soul name, except it's not necessarily a word that you can say. The experiences that we have in life, both here on earth and between lifetimes add to that signature as Soul grows and matures. The experiences we have help us to hone qualities such as perseverance, empathy, trustworthiness, independence, discipline, inventiveness, patience, compassion, integrity, cooperativeness, courage, sense of humor, open-mindedness, and self-reliance.
The fact that we don't really learn anything in the sense of making it a part of who we are unless we experience it should not hold parents or anyone else back from trying to teach young people. It's just important to realize that "telling" kids something is not always going to get the job done. If a Soul really needs a certain experience, he or she will get it, in some way, no matter how horrendous or painful the outcome may be. I have often heard parents saying, "I told him not to..." Whenever I hear this, I feel sorry for the parents, who are feeling helpless and incompetent, but my thought is always, "It's a good thing that you did, but he had to learn it for himself." Most of the time, the parents don't want to hear this, so I don't say it aloud. It's true, though.
A good exercise to do – and you an encourage your older kids to do this, too – is to list ten experiences you have had in your life. List ten important ones. For each experience, list the things you learned, and be sure to include the qualities that you may have learned from the experience, such as patience, etc. When we do this, we realize that no experience is wasted in this lifetime. There is always something to learn from it. :-)