Busy families require parents to be organized and often times have a routine. My routine each day starts with a quiet time. On a good day, exercise followed by a shower and quickly rounded off with coffee…all before the day ensues. I don’t enjoy waking up so early and I really don’t love my exercise regime…but the results those disciplines produce create strength and health.
Wouldn’t we as parents love it if the hours we spend exercising or doing a quiet time, taking our vitamins or eating vegetables could have a direct benefit on our children? Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we could do the hard work and our kids could receive the benefit?
It might be wonderful, but it certainly isn’t realistic.
The sad fact is, we can’t fight their battles either. Not any more than we can take their vitamins for them. Just doesn’t work that way.
I see parents so ready to come to the aid of their children because things aren’t always fair. Their math teacher doesn’t like them. They should have had the starting position on the team. The coach was unjust in their assessment of the game. They should have made first chair in the band. We shouldn’t keep score so that no one feels as though they lost. So parents call the teachers or coaches or whoever happens to be in authority to set things straight…to make sure that their child is treated fairly.
Pretty ironic that an attempt to insure fairness really is an act of injustice to our child.
When we step in and try to solve all of the issues our children face we weaken them and we steal from them the joy of effort and achievement. When a child doesn’t get the position they hoped for on the team and we make excuses, blaming the coach or accusing the coach of favoring another player on the team, we steal from them. We take away their opportunity to work hard to achieve a goal. Succeed or fail, it feels good to set your sights on something and work hard to achieve it. Like working out and lifting weights builds their physical muscles. Overcoming adversity and working hard builds strength in their character. It feels good to give all you have to something and to achieve.
Our children’s self-esteem is not improved or sustained by our empty praises and accolades. Their identity is in Christ and their self-esteem is strengthened when they succeed or fail, win or lose…effort, sweat, tears, goals, persistence…builds overcomers. I think that’s what we are after.
Don’t sabotage the process. Come along side of them. Make no excuses and support them as they learn to struggle well.
Strength and honor,