One of the hardest things as a parent is to step back and allow a child to learn on their own. As parents (especially moms, because of our nurturing natures) we want to step in and force them to learn it right the first time they try. We want to pick them up the instant that they fall down, we want to show them exactly how a puzzle fits together, we want to give them the answers to their math problems. It can be so hard to watch our children struggle as they try so hard to learn something new.
Although it is hard to step back, one of the most important things we can do for our children is to let them learn on their own. Like the butterfly who cannot survive if helped out of the chrysalis, our children will struggle in adulthood if they have not learned how to solve problems without the aid of their parents. That is not to say that as parents we should not help and offer guidance through our children’s struggles, but we also need to know when to let them learn on their own.
I have always enjoyed watching while my children worked hard to find a solution to a problem. This may seem a bit cruel, but I can see them learning and growing a little bit each time they solve a problem. I have watched my two year old realize he couldn’t reach the light switch that his daddy had asked him to turn off, and grab a step stool (that was almost as big as him), push it all the way to the light, then proudly switch off the light. Sure, he struggled to push the step stool, but his feeling of accomplishment was so much greater when he was done, than if I had simply gone in and switched off the light.
There are certainly times when it is important that we step in. When our children are in danger, we should always keep them from harm. But, when there is no danger, the best thing we can do is allow them to learn on their own.
Posted by Christine of Sticky Fingerprints