I have a friend on facebook who posted yesterday that the hardest thing about parenting is not being able to fix everything for your child.
Her oldest is in middle school, so that probably is the hardest thing in her parenting world right now.
I’d love to be able to tell her it gets easier from where she sits right now…but unfortunately, I can not.
But I can tell you this…
It is so challenging and heartbreaking at times to be a parent and watch as our child experiences the unavoidable pains of growing up, it is also the most amazing thing when you watch them totally nail a situation and handle it beautifully.
With grace. Love. Mercy.
Or righteous anger. Confrontation.
When you see them extend kindness without any prompting.
When they bloody the bully’s nose.
When they take up the cause of the underdog.
When they take on authority and challenge it for all the right reasons.
As God would have it, we can’t experience ANY of these complete highs in our parenting if we don’t also experience the lows. The heartbreaks. The sobbing at bedtime. The yelling at dinnertime.
I know, moms and dads. I know the feeling of wanting to wring some idiot kid’s neck because of the awful meanness they have aimed at our kid. But I have learned that letting mama bear rip on every yahoo only stifle’s my child’s need to learn and grow and fight for themselves.
My advice? Don’t fix it.
Be there for them. Listen to them wrestle. Help them decide how to handle it. And watch as time after time they get better at fixing it themselves. It’s hard to do…but trust me…it’s NOT the hardest thing we will face as parents. These challenges are only making us moms and dads stronger for the bigger and more challenging situations we will face with our children in the future.