If you never let your kid fall down…how do they learn to pick themselves back up?
It occurred to me a few weeks ago that I have been a roadblock for my children. My fears and my insecurities are holding them back from being the best-versions-of-themselves. The other day my almost 3 year old was doing shape/color flashcards. Not even thinking, I pulled out the octagon and pentagon cards. She asked me “why” those cards were not in her pile. I started to say, “because they’re too hard for you…”
I stopped myself… Who am I to decide if something is too hard for her? I haven’t even given her the chance to try, I took the opportunity for growth/improvement away from her! I threw them into our practice pile and at first she didn’t get it but she was trying. Why did I think a pentagon or an octagon was any harder than a triangle or a square?
I’m not the parent who doesn’t let their kid fall down or rushes to their side…I try not to be a helicopter mom although I’m sure at times I am. The principle is the same though… I am not giving her certain flashcards because I’m afraid she’ll fail and I’m afraid she’s not old enough to learn that. As a coach, I preach failure is important, without failure and practice we are stagnant. How will my kids learn if I’m playing it safe with them?
It was a gorgeous warm but breezy evening in Kansas. All five of us were outside trying to get our four year old son ready for his first t-ball season. He kept hitting the tee instead of the ball so I told my husband to remove the tee and just try pitching it to him. My husband instantly said he’s not ready for that…he’s too young…we may make him frustrated and he’ll want to quit. Having my previous revelation about being a roadblock… I removed the tee. HE HIT THE BALL OVER THE FENCE…no joke!
Again, we were scared he couldn’t handle it. We were his roadblock…as parents it’s our job to be their encouragers, their cheerleaders, the ones who push them to go outside their comfort zone. This whole time I was afraid of letting them fail but I was failing them as a parent.
I’m not saying we should all go out and let our kids do whatever they want…but when it comes to their growth and maturity we need to move aside and be their guardrails. If we are constantly laying down the pillow to keep them from falling…as adults how will they make it in a world with no pillow to catch them?