As my two-year-old son was playing on a crowded playground, he made a quick dash to climb up a ladder. I instantly sucked in a deep breath as he lumbered his way awkwardly up the steps. The urge to jump in and help him was strong…but I held back, only staying close by in case something went terribly wrong.
As he made it to the top of the ladder and turned around to give me a smile, my heart skipped a beat with pride; I was relieved that I had held back and allowed him to figure it out himself.
It is a natural instinct for parents to want to protect their children from adversity. While my son is young and adversity comes in the form of a playground ladder, I can imagine how this will shift and evolve as my son gets older. Learning basic motor skills and tackling self-care will move to making friends, being successful in school, overcoming peer pressure…and the list just goes on.
Our children MUST learn how to be resilient in order to find success and overcome the obstacles they will face as a human. If we sweep in to save our children from every bit of difficulty, we actually do them a disservice. We send the message that when life gets tough, someone will always help you out of it and that failure is a scary and negative thing. [Read more…]