The gift of spite

You can give somebody, your children for instance, the gift of having somebody to spite, allowing yourself to be the target of animosity.
If we say "you can become whatever you want," we abdicate reality for dreams. This locates future failure inside of the person: if they fail, it is shamefully on them for not wanting or trying enough.

Can we reverse this? Can we offer the gift of realism from which overcoming is legitimately achievable, though producing short-term spite? And in doing so generate practical self-confidence?