When you’re a mom (or a dad), it’s painful to see your children suffer or become frustrated when things don’t go how they wanted them to go. However, we need to remind ourselves that those glitches and obstacles are necessary. If your child doesn’t fall, how will he or she learn to get up again? Pause for a second and look back at your own life. You’ll see that every single experience you’ve had has made you the person you are today.
I know it’s not an easy thing to accept. Although I consider myself tremendously fortunate, there have been many times in which I wish I hadn’t suffered or experienced pain (whether it has been physical or emotional) because those memories aren’t the highlights of my life. We all have wounds and scars. They are reminders of what we have overcome, that we are stronger than we thought and that we can survive life’s surprises. Those hard lessons even help us give a hand to others because we can actually understand their pain or what they’re going through.
The biggest problem is when our own pain, scars and memories make us try to overprotect our kids. We don’t want them to suffer. We cry when they’re sick or get their shots. We get angry if another child pushes them or a teacher doesn’t realize their potential. I don’t even want to imagine how I’ll feel when my kids experience their first heartbreak. However, if I want them to grow and develop resilience, I know that I need to let them live through every stage and every lesson.
Our first instinct as parents is to protect our children, help them and protect them from any harm. We are fulfilling our duty by taking care of them, but we need to let them fall, make mistakes and learn from those painful moments. Every fall and every frustration gives us the opportunity to strengthen their spirit. You can be next to them to lend support, but we need to instill in our kids the confidence that they can overcome the obstacles they face. The only way we can do that is by not solving all their problems.
I know how hard this is, but things in life that are really valuable are never easy. Our children need to know and feel that they can open doors when a window closes, that they can get up when they fall, that they can rectify a mistake and say they’re sorry when they mess up. Is there any other way in which they can learn these lessons?
Overprotecting our children is a mistake. The problem is where do you draw the line between protecting your kids from harm and hovering over them. That’s why every time my children face an obstacle, I breathe in and avoid running to make their problems go away. I want them to learn to solve problems on their own but I am really close by to lend them a hand if they need it… or a hug. I cannot simply stand by and see them suffer, but I need the to know I trust them enough to succeed at their own battles.