Monday, November 4, 2013

Lessons Learned

I'm beginning to believe that one of the hardest things about parenting is sitting back and watching.  As a parent, I want to always be there to catch my kid before he hits the ground (metaphorically speaking) but in my head, I know that's a horrible parenting technique.  Just this morning, I was sitting in the living room, watching my son playing with one of his toys.  He dragged it over to the coffee table, pulled himself up, and, while hanging on to the table with one hand, reached down to pick up the toy and put it on the table.  The toy is fairly large and unwieldy and heavier than most of his toys.  The first attempt resulted in the toy getting caught on the edge of the table and he dropped it.  He adjusted his footing to get a little more leverage, reached down, and managed to get the toy onto the table.  However, after a minute of playing with it, he accidently pushed it off and the process of getting it back onto the table started again.  I just sat and watched.  In that moment, I could've made his life easier and put the toy on the table for him and made sure it stayed there.  But I can't and won't be that mom. 

I want my kid to succeed and fail on his own.  When he succeeds, he'll be building confidence in himself and his abilities.  When he fails, he'll learn to keep trying until he does succeed.  I think lessons like these need to start being taught at a very young age (my son is 7.5 months old).  When my son is in a college classroom and can't figure out a problem or on the job site and can't resolve an issue, I want him to be able to look back at a lifetime of successes and have the confidence in his abilities to be able to solve the problem and fix the issue.  I want him to be able to think outside the box.  I want him to just try different things until something works.  He'll also have examples in his past of times he failed.  Those will serve to keep him grounded and humble, to realize that he may not get it the first time or he may need to ask for assistance from someone else.  Doing everything for our kids so they never get to experience failure or success is bad parenting.  Our kids need to succeed and our kids need to fail.  So for your child's sake, just sit back and watch.  If they need your help, they'll ask.

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