On Protecting Our Children: How Much is Too Much?

10 Jan

Several days ago, I wrote a poem about how I wanted to be like my daughter.  Most children, as far as I know, are like her.  When she gets hurt, she cries.   But after a while, she gets up and does the very same thing that she got hurt from.  Nothing I say will stop her from doing so.  Nothing.  Not even my warning that she might get hurt again.

Isn’t the behavior she just displayed called resilience?  Determination?  Courage?  Fearlessness?  Aren’t we the same when we were still children?  But somewhere along the way, on our journey to adulthood, we lost those qualities.

And aren’t these qualities what we need most as adults to succeed?  We need determination to reach our goals.  We need courage to try and try and never ever give up.  We need to face our fears and not be afraid of failing and of making mistakes.  We need to be resilient to survive life’s trials.

As parents, we naturally want to protect our children.  But let us not overprotect them.  Granted, that there are certain people or situations that we should protect them from while they’re young.   But while keeping them safe from harm, we must also make sure that those wonderful qualities they have as children stay with them through adulthood.

As a mother, I can only strive to provide an environment that does not put shame on failures.  An environment that does not criticize attempts to accomplish something.  I want to raise my child to be strong and compassionate.  Strong, so that when she goes out into the world, she has a confidence that cannot be easily shaken.  Compassionate, so that when she goes out into the world, she helps others build their confidence, too.

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