I get it, you want to help. They NEED help.
Is that what you are doing….helping?
What if I told you that you were doing exactly the opposite.
It all started this morning as my Big was getting breakfast for her and her sister, something she does every morning. As she was fighting the cereal box she came up to me and started to tell me that it’s not cooperating. She was about to give me that as the excuse as to why she couldn’t do it and how she needed my help.
I told her, “No.” I wasn’t going to help.
She immediately crossed her arms, stomped a little and proceeded to tell me, In a very frustrated tone, that she couldn’t.
I sternly interrupted her and told her she had two options, and only two.
1.) Make excuses for why she couldn’t.
2.) Overcome any obstacle before her and prove she could.
I let her know that one would help her in life and the other one wouldn’t. I told her there are two types of people in the world; those who constantly make excuse for why they can’t, and then there are those of us who won’t let the “can’ts” in life stop us.
I then told her that she not only can. She will….and then I walked away.
In tears, anger and frustration she stomped back into the kitchen.
Five mins later I came out to see her and her sister sitting on the couch eating their cereal.
I smiled. She, still frustrated, looked away. With a sincere smile, I told her, “You did it!”
“Yeah, through frustrated tears.”
“Ah, yes, but you did it.”
I explained that sometimes it takes the frustrations in life to fuel us to overcome the obstacles in front of us. Sometimes, we have to fight through frustrated tears to achieve the things we want out of life, or the things we need to accomplish.
I hugged her and told her I was proud of her.
You see, if I run to her aid every time she needs help, I am not empowering her to be the strong, independent woman I so pray she grows up to be. I’m not doing her any favors by doing everything for her. She is a strong, capable girl and I want her to have the opportunity to learn it, if need be, through frustrated tears.
Our kids depend on us to prepare them for the world out there. They don’t get take us to school, they don’t get to take us to college, and they don’t get to take us into their marriages. (That’s right, mama, butt out!)
It is our responsibility to take every opportunity to prepare them for adulthood.
While they are still young.
To pray over them constantly and then to leave them in God’s hands. Of course we will be there for them when they have left the nest, but we can’t always rush in and save them. Of course we can offer advice, (when asked). But it’s not our job to be there their “Savior.” But it is our job to point them to the Savior.
So next time your child asks for help, consider if you can use that opportunity to teach them about their own strength. Sometimes you’ll do this through cheerleading, and other times by telling them they have a choice and then walking away. Whether they succeed or fail don’t forget to cheer if they indeed tried. Sometimes all it takes is them knowing you’re in their corner “do or fail” for them to succeed on their own next time.