Thursday, August 4, 2011

Do we fight our child's battle? No we don't...

One of the most painful things a parent must learn to do is to let go. There's a natural tendency to want to protect our kids from anyone or anything that may cause them hurt, whether physical or emotional. I've had to deal with situations that required me to bite my tongue and stop myself from interfering. It's very, very difficult to do. Especially if the issue involves my own child. Parents of teenagers should be able to relate to this often-experienced dilemma.

How many times has your daughter/son approached you with a problem at school or with a friend? And each time this happens, there's that part of you that wants to say, "Let Mommy take care of it for you." While this is the most natural thing in the world for a parent to say, unfortunately, it's never the solution to your child's problem. Sure, we're more equipped to deal with conflicts. But telling them to step aside while you iron things out could be one of the biggest mistakes you can make, moreso, if you keep doing it.

At the same time, how do you watch from the sidelines and not be affected? This is absolutely impossible to achieve. However, being a spectator is the wise thing to choose. Not to say that you should leave your child all alone to fight for himself. You just don't do the fighting. You back him/her up by providing love, reassurance and advice. Then you TRUST that your child understands and is able to carry out as told. If he/she fails, again, that's painful. But it's a lesson learned. You go back to where you started ... love, reassure, guide. It's a cycle and you shouldn't get tired of doing it until your child gets it right. That's it.

Nobody said parenting was easy. In fact, it's the biggest challenge I'm faced with at the moment. Parenting a teenager is really tricky. If you do too much, you might end up with a child that's overly-dependent without a backbone. If you do too little, you're later on accused of not being involved or concerned enough. Your love is questioned and that hurts even more.

I never claimed to be a good Mom. In fact, I often think I'm a lousy one. This is probably psychological on my part. I'd rather think I'm inadequate than perfect. Feeling inadequate motivates me to be at my best. It makes me feel REAL, like a real human being, capable of making mistakes but smart enough to know how to correct them.

Every night, my prayer always includes a request for the Lord to take care of my kids whenever they're not by my side, for Him to shield them from physical danger and stand by them in times of difficulty. Other than that, the most I can do is to hope that my children, even when I'm not around, are able to use the good head they have on their shoulders and apply everything I've taught them. That is all a parent can do, really.

Like I said, I'm no expert on parenting. But I know enough to say that we can only do so much for our kids. If we want to raise them to be intelligent, self-reliant, self-assured individuals, then we must do our part. Keep a slight distance, and allow them to experience life as it happens, while carefully watching from the sidelines. But always prepared to wipe away their tears, while trying to hide ours. Tough, but I wouldn't have it any other way.

1 comment:

  1. No one is an expert in parenting ... its all touch and go, trial and error. What matters is that we try what we can and do our best.