It’s Okay To Let Your Child Struggle

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ButterflyBeing a parent is one of life’s profound gifts. We are given this tiny child without instructions or guidance. They remain our responsibility for eighteen years! The task is often overwhelming and frightening, but the outcome can be rewarding. As our children grow, they will bring great joy, and oftentimes, sorrow. One of the hardest challenges parents face is watching their child struggle. They struggle to walk, button their coat, make friends, and learn new things. We become frustrated when our patience runs thin and sometimes jump in and do it for them instead of allowing the struggle to strengthen and teach the lesson it was intended to.

Consider the story of the Butterfly:

A man found a cocoon of a butterfly. One day a small opening appeared. He sat and watched the butterfly for several hours as it struggled to force its body through that little hole. Then it seemed to stop making any progress. I t appeared as if it had gotten as far as it could, and it could go no further.

So, the man decided to help the butterfly. He took a pair of scissors and snipped off the remaining bit of the cocoon. The butterfly then emerged easily. But it had a swollen body and small, shriveled wings.

The man continued to watch the butterfly because he expected that, at any moment, the wings would enlarge and expand to be able to support the body, which would contract in time. Neither happened! In fact, the butterfly spent the rest of its life crawling around with a swollen body and shriveled wings. It never was able to fly.

What the man, in his kindness and haste, did not understand was that the restricting cocoon and the struggle required for the butterfly to get through the tiny opening were life’s way of forcing fluid from the body of the butterfly into its wings so that it would be ready for flight once it achieved its freedom from the cocoon.

Sometimes struggles are exactly what we need in our lives. Remember nature needs no help, no interference. There are processes of life, things we all go through. The struggles are part of our journey and are preparing us for what awaits.
-Author Unknown

Struggling is an important part of growth. So, be patient while your little one learns new things and faces life’s challenges. One day those struggles will make them strong enough to fly.