October 7, 2016
The irony of good parenting is that by preparing children to be independent of their mothers and fathers, they eventually won’t need to rely on mom and dad at all.
One of the biggest challenges we face as parents is allowing our children to fail. Our first inclination is to “rescue” them from any adversity, including their own mistakes, instead of letting them take responsibility for themselves.
I was reminded of this again by an article that appeared in the October 2 edition of the Cedar Rapids Gazette. In the article, which discusses allowing children to experience the hard knocks of life, the author told of a sign posted near the entrance of the Catholic High School for Boys in Little Rock Arkansas. The sign says, “STOP! If you are dropping off your son’s forgotten lunch, books, homework, equipment, etc., please TURN AROUND and exit the building. Your son will learn to problem-solve in your absence.”
Certainly a strong statement, but the point is to let your child become responsible for him or herself. One of the best ways this happens is to let children experience the consequences of their mistakes and failures. Tough as that is to do, that’s when our kids will begin to learn self-reliance, personal responsibility and self-discipline.
And really, isn’t that what we want for our children?