Hurting to Help…

As a parent, watching your child go through struggles is beyond difficult.  There is no end to the internet memes about how you never know how impatient you are until you watch your child try to something by him/herself!

It’s funny, because it’s true.

The other day, my spirited child (8.5) was suffering and complaining and asking me why I couldn’t just do something for her.

First mother-instinct was to just do it for her.  We’ve all been there.  The child is balking about how they don’t want to do the thing (whatever it is) and they are dragging their feet and moaning and groaning… As a parent, you know full well that you could get this thing done in a matter of minutes… it’s annoying.

I told her simply, “If I always do things for you, you’ll never learn how to do things.”

Sometimes parenting is super hard.  I mean, thinking you’re at mile 25 and realizing it’s only mile 2, kind of hard.  But that day, it felt like a win.

To answer your question, no, she did NOT do the thing she needed to… but that’s not the point. The weight of doing this simple thing, (I think it was picking up her clothes or something, or the cleaning out the cat box) bore down on her and she began to leak other  burdens she didn’t want to face.

My fellow StumbleParents, I’m not heartless.  I sat down and had her tell me all about her woes.

Her new teacher wasn’t nice enough, she was too hard on her (only her of course) and the kids at this new school weren’t being her friend, and so on.  I was holding this 4-foot 5 inch, 75 lb girl on my lap with patient empathy as she blubbered.  (I’m only mentioning my patience and empathy because normally, I fail quite gloriously at this).

*INSERT HUG AND LONG BREATH HERE*

ME: baby doll, what would have happened, if instead of allowing you to try and learn to walk, daddy and I decided that it was too hard to learn and we didn’t want you to fall and get hurt… so we carried you everywhere and NEVER let you walk.  What would have happened?

DAUGHTER (eyes wide): I wouldn’t be able to walk!

ME: what else?

DAUGHTER: well, my legs wouldn’t work at all.

ME: I think it’s a safe bet that your legs wouldn’t have developed properly, along with your muscles and bones in your legs and body.

DAUGHTER: that would be awful!  I’m glad you didn’t do that!

ME: *smile*

DAUGHTER: *recognition* OOOOOHHHHH…… I get it.

ME: you see baby, there will always be hard things to do, to learn, to live through, to overcome, and mommy and daddy love you so very much… we have to let you try, we have to let you fall, because, my love, there is no other way to learn to walk… and baby, you mastered walking so quickly that you were running within a week!

So you see, there are hard things you’ll have to go through, and all you need to know is that we will be here to encourage you, to hold your hands, to talk you through it, and to celebrate your successes!  But by doing things for you, I’m afraid that wouldn’t be very nice to do at all.  We would be robbing you of your life experience that will later carry you… like your legs.

Sorry it’s been so long since my last post – LIFE!

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