Lately, I have been thinking about my parenting, what I am doing right and what I am doing wrong. One of the ways I am parenting wisely, is that I am not overly corrective when it comes to handling their misbehavior. In other words, if they act in a manner I am not fond of, I do not overreact. Obviously, the goal is to not under react too, but I feel good about the measured approach I take when it comes to dealing with some of their issues.
What don’t I think I am doing a good job of? Letting them deal with life’s difficulties without trying to solve their problems for them or spare them pain. Sometimes, I try to take on their struggles for them rather than teaching them how to handle adversity. Lately, I have pondered that maybe it is not my job to make my children’s paths easier and more pain free.
As a parent, I hate watching my kiddos struggle or suffer. My natural inclination is to take that pain away at all costs. Honestly, though, I do not think I am doing them any favors by parenting in that style. Parenting them in a way that tries to take away their struggles is not going to help them in the long run. If I try to take away their burdens, I am denying them the opportunity to learn how to handle adversity. In fact, in some ways, I’m teaching them to avoid it by any means possible.
Lately, my prayers for myself as their mom have been that I would guide them through their trials and struggles in a way that teaches them resiliency and perseverance. This is a much healthier approach to parenting, in my opinion, because I am teaching them to face their struggles head on.
After all, life is going to throw lots of awful things their way. Hard times fall on all of us. Trials happen. Bad days are just part of the deal. If I try to lighten their burdens or unnecessarily take away their pain, I am not teaching them how to manage all that comes with a difficult day. No, I truly feel, my children will be better off, if I come alongside them and teach them how to manage difficulties with grace, perseverance, and patience.
It is hard to watch my kiddos struggle. However, if I take the long view, the one that recognizes I cannot shield them from every encounter that brings pain or discomfort, I will truly want to teach them how to persist in the face of adversity. I will want to teach them how to handle their struggles with grace and dignity. After all, if I cannot take all of the pain and struggles of this life away, I want to equip my children to pass through every trial and come out stronger on the other side of it. As a parent, my goal should not be to spare my children painful life lessons, but, rather, to instill in them the way to face their difficulties and triumph in spite of them.