You know, one thing I can’t stand is a wimpy kid. The type who cries easily, overreacts emotionally or when they are barely scraped physically.
I just want to shake the parents and yell, “HOW IS THIS KID GONNA PERSEVERE IN ANYTHING IF HE HOLLERS FOR 15 MINUTES ABOUT A BUMP ON THE KNEE?”
I DO NOT have wimpy kids. And I have been thinking long and hard about why. Two major factors come to mind.
Ever since Daly Kay was a BABY, David would rough her around. Used to scare the heck out of me. He would toss her up in the air, roll and wrestle with her on the bed, and play pretty tough. As she grew, eventually she stopped fussing and began playing back. HARD. So hard that at 13 while they were rough housing, she broke his ribs. (Never, never, never try to take down a swimmer…their grip and their kick is intense!)
And once David had a son…well, forget it. That boy was flung around, pounded down, and roughed until he couldn’t take it anymore. As a baby, Courson would just wail. He could see the look in daddy’s eyes coming for him while he was standing in the crib and he would try to hide under his blankie. That didn’t stop David! Blissy would beg Daddy…”Stop! Daddy, he doesn’t like it!” But over the course of a few months, that little whippersnapper started squealing with delight. And by the time he could speak, he asked for “ruffles” (his version of “roughins”) every night.
Maybe you, as a parent, didn’t grow up with an older brother or the type of dad who would rough-house with you. Perhaps this whole concept seems strange and unimportant. But let me assure you, it is vital to building the kind of kid that can take a lickin’ and keep on tickin’. It builds trust, confidence, and tires them out pretty good before bed! What starts out as a tickle fest around here usually ends up in a full on brawl, but these kids are fearless. And that’s just the way I like ’em.
Secondly, when a child gets a scrape on the knee, I respond kindly…but in most cases pay it very little mind.
Judson walks up, crying because he walloped his elbow in a spill on the sidewalk. “Well son, you’re going to get hit a lot harder than that on the football field. Take that hit as training. You’re just fine.”
Courson (rarely anymore…but maybe a few years ago) comes at me with a pretty good mark on his forehead. “Well son, I’m sure in the army you will get far worse whacks on the noggin than that. Keep marching soldier.”
Liberty (who swears she needs stitches even if the boo boo is as big as a paper cut…the child goes through band-aids like pez!) comes running teary eyed over a slight scrape on the knee…”Liberty, when you grow up and run track, at first you’re going to fall over those hurdles and scrape your knee dozens of times way worse than that before you ever break any records! It’s no biggie! Go wipe off the blood and only use ONE BAND-AID!”
Folks, we all know that our scrapes and bruises today only make us stronger for the challenges and trials ahead. The Lord wastes none of our hurt. We can teach our children the same things about all their little scrapes and bumps. We can teach them to roll with the punches, not over react or over emotionalize. I mean, be kind, of course. Be caring…but if you have a child who is dramatic about every little boo-boo or can’t handle some rough-housing, you’ve got some work to do. That kind of child won’t be able to handle anything life throws at them.
And you won’t always be there with a band-aid and a boo-boo bunny.