Witnessing my children hurting and letting them work through it themselves has been one of the hardest parts of parenthood for me. We should definitely support our children in working through emotions and setting them up for success, but at the end of the day, it’s their choice and their responsibility. My hope is that my children will learn how to do this in these early years so they can grow toward independence and healthy adulthood. It has been a hard season of needing to loosen up my grip.
Over the past thirteen years, I have moved seven times. Since having children seven years ago, our family has moved three times and lived in four different houses. Our family has embraced the adventure, but the importance of community has dug deep into my soul lately.
The most difficult part of moving is creating new community again and again.
I have watched my son settle into a friend group, one of my daughter’s branch out, but my other daughter struggle. They have friends scattered throughout the area, but they haven’t met their really good friends yet. I know this takes time, especially after moving, but part of me wants to jump in, be their superhero, and save the day when I see loneliness, anxiety, or sadness. It makes my heart ache.
I was encouraged after reading the book, “Raising Grateful Kids in an Entitled World” by Kristen Welch. She mentions that we are not necessarily entitled to have great days all the time. Our goal tends to be happiness, but are we entitled to that? That idea stopped me in my tracks. Of course I want my children to be happy, but this made me stop and think. It reminded me that life is not always smooth sailing, and our children will have tough seasons and wonderful ones. We should be there to help them through these times, but also give them the freedom to work through them. It’s okay. It’s okay for our children to not feel 100% happy all the time. It’s simply a part of life.
I know community will come, but in the meantime, I have had to encourage my daughter to be brave and meet some new people.
Yesterday morning on the walk to school I told her that I would have never met her daddy if I had not stepped out of my comfort zone to walk over and meet him. I encouraged her to meet one new person that day. I reminded her of her many gifts and what a joy she is to me.
I’m thankful that her confidence in how God and our family loves her is set deep in her heart. But, in the meantime, it’s tough. It’s tough to stand back and watch your child hurt. But, if we can give them tools to work through these times instead of fixing everything for them, their character will grow, and they will be that much stronger-I have to keep telling myself that. On the walk home from school, Gracie said she met a new friend and it made her feel happy.
We cannot protect our children from all of life’s hardships.
They are bound to come. But we can empower them to develop the character and perseverance to overcome them an experience at a time.
And even though we can’t always be our children’s superheroes, with deep breaths, tears, giggles, and prayers along the way, we can be their biggest supporters, reminding them that they can do this. That they are brave. That they are leaders. That they are valuable. That they are loved.
To learn more about Linsey visit www.LinseyDriskill.com. You can follow her on Facebook or Instagram @BeautifulHeartedParenting.