Parenting

Growing Up

It’s hard being a parent. We want what’s best for our children, regardless of how old they are. It’s difficult to watch when things don’t go the way they want them to go. It’s tough for us to see them disappointed, hurt, sad and suffering. When they hurt, we hurt.

Growing up is hard and challenging. For us and our kids.

It doesn’t matter what it is, we want our children to accomplish whatever they want. We want things to work out well for them. We want them to feel successful and win at whatever game they’re playing.

When it comes to our children, we can all get a little crazy.

There are different levels of craziness: the parent on the field obnoxiously yelling for their kid to score a goal, the parent who can’t take it if their child doesn’t get playing time on the court, the parent who asks, “What did your daughter get on the history test.” This intensity doesn’t actually help anyone. It puts pressure on kids, causes them unnecessary stress, and annoys other parents.

Growing up is hard for kids and parents.

Growing up is hard for kids and parents.

It all comes from having good intentions, wanting our kids to do well and win. The reality is, our kids aren’t going to always win. They’re going to do badly on a test, miss a goal, sit on the bench. They probably aren’t going to win every election they run in, get into every honor society they apply for, or be picked for every award.

Here’s the thing, growing up is hard because life is hard. There are good times and bad times. Ups and downs. You have to let your kids experience the good and the bad.

We have to let our kids experience what it feels like to be disappointed. They have to learn how to deal with set backs, losses and frustrations. They need to gain the knowledge and skills necessary to handle rejection and move forward when things don’t go the way they want them to go. To learn grace, humility, and the ability to persevere. They can’t learn this if we’re running behind them fixing everything so they won’t fail.

Think about it, did you get everything you wanted when you were growing up?

I highly doubt it. Guess what? You survived. You might have felt sad but you got over it and learned how to bounce back. You picked yourself up and tried again.

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It’s hard to be on this side of things, as the parent. I want so badly to fix things for my kids. To spare them the feeling of disappointment. But, I have to remind myself when I do this, I’m not really helping them. In fact, I’m actually hurting them.

Not letting your kids fail is setting them up for major letdowns later on in life.

They have to understand what it feels like when something doesn’t go the way they want it to go. They need to learn how to cope and not fall apart when something goes wrong. Because, as much as we don’t want to think about it, there are going to be things in our kids lives that are going to go wrong.

Even though we can’t fix everything, we can be there to help them see the big picture. We can be there to offer a shoulder to cry on, perspective that it isn’t the end of the world, and give them the support they need.

We can ease their growing pains.

Help your children navigate the difficult road growing up often takes them on. Don’t feel like you need to fix everything. Instead, be there to guide and support them on their journey.

Find meaning each day,

Dara

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