In awe and speculation, the man watched as the former caterpillar began to unveil the awaited metamorphosis. The transformation had taken weeks and the process of the butterfly maneuvering out of the chrysalis was becoming a nerve-wracking sight to observe so much that the man felt compelled to assist in order to avoid any further struggling on the insect’s part.
Guided by his hand, the Monarch emerged from his present home and was a beautiful sight, however, a short time later, the man, to his horror, recognized that his interference had actually become a detriment ultimately causing its untimely death.
What appeared to be helpful in the short term had actually hindered the life requirements of the winged creature.
Without struggling, his wings did not become strengthened, and the butterfly could not fly, leaving the Monarch weak, broken, and grounded for life.
As parents, we want nothing more than the guaranteed safety and protection for our kids. We purchase bumper pads for cribs, shin guards for soccer, and helmets for riding bikes. We do our ultimate best to avoid damage coming into the lives of our children. We continue to cut up their hot dogs, pick up their Easter eggs, and buy them the latest trendies to assure that they are liked and always succeed.
However, an overzealous desire to protect and constantly intervene has caused kids to be unprepared in handling criticism, failures, and the downfalls of life.
Even though we are not to go looking for opportunities for our kids to fail, we also cannot drive ourselves crazy constantly trying to shelter them from pain. We must keep a balance in our own life as well as theirs.
Kids need to struggle and fail in order to learn and be prepared for life.
It is our job as a parent to teach them how to embrace the failure and gain knowledge from their mistake.
By giving our kids everything they want or think they need, have we not weakened their readiness for life on their own? What we deem as protection for our kids may actually be harmful or destructive in preparing them for the world.
Think back to the butterfly, the time that was most critical for the Monarch’s survival was when he had to struggle to become strengthened and prepared for flying.
Even though we believe we may be doing the right action for our children, God’s ways are higher than our own. He tells us that life will bring trials but it is how we handle the circumstance that will determine our own outcome.
My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing-James 1:2-4
As much as we desire to protect our children from the hurts in life, we can’t. However, when we recognize that even though we cannot avoid every pain, we can prepare our kids for the fall and show them ways to move forward.
Think about the times in your own life when you failed. What did you learn? How did you move forward?