Isn’t it so hard to watch our kids struggle with something?
Whether it’s learning to use a spoon, tying a shoe, or completing school assignments – we want to help!
We want our kids to be happy…and sometimes we just want to save time!
Struggling is an important part of growth though. In fact, it’s through struggling that kids develop the strength to succeed in the future.
There’s a story that I once heard about a young boy who found a beautiful caterpillar when he was playing outside. The boy was so kind and sweet and wanted to give it the best life he could so he put the insect in a large jar with plants and sticks.
He was taking great care of it but got worried one day when the caterpillar was hanging from a stick and acting strangely. His mom explained that the caterpillar was forming a chrysalis and would soon change into a butterfly.
Finally, the butterfly began to emerge but it was struggling so hard to get out of the casing. The boy was worried it was going to get hurt as it was trying to break free.
He knew he could help so he quickly got scissors and snipped the chrysalis to make the opening bigger. At last, the butterfly emerged!
Then the boy watched and waited for the butterfly’s wings to expand and for it to fly off. But the butterfly only crawled around with its swollen body and shriveled wings. It wasn’t able to fly.
You see, the butterfly was supposed to struggle. It was a necessary part of development.
It was supposed to squeeze through the small opening in the chrysalis so the fluid in its body would be forced into the wings. Without this struggle, the butterfly could never fly.
The boy’s good intentions had actually hurt the butterfly.
Although it was painful to witness the struggle, it wasn’t the boy’s responsibility to fix the situation or make it easier or faster for the butterfly.
So consider this — how does it make you feel when your kiddo struggles?
Instead of jumping in to fix or solve their problems — how can you support your child to do it on their own?
I’ve found that if we can slow down and be intentional with how we support our kids when they’re young, then they’ll have the skills, confidence, and strength to handle things when they’re not with us.
Let them fly,