“This is gonna hurt.” Every mom that has nursed a cut, scrape, or banged head has made this proclamation. From applying antiseptic, getting shots from the doctor, and icing bumps to ripping off Band-Aids, we tend to warn our kids of the impending pain. We do this because we’re moms; we do what’s needed to get from damage to restoration.
There’s another arena with its own share of pain that humans find themselves living through; it’s called life. When it comes to preparing your child for the pain of life, what’s a mom supposed to do?
We want to protect those we love, we want to shield them, and in many ways we should. But if we build a wall around them to keep all disappointment, hurt, and defeat at bay then they will never be able to face all of those things when they leave our home. And leave they will (at least we assume that will happen sometime before they are 30)!
It’s not our great verbal warnings that work—the repeated statements that tell them of the difficulties of life that are ahead. That almost inevitably leads to your daughters rolling their eyes and your sons giving you blank stares.
So instead, moms, let life be the one to warn them and you do these:
• Let them fail. When they do they will learn to get back up and try again.
• Let them feel the consequences of their mistakes. They will learn how to avoid unnecessary harm.
• Let them walk through the disappointment of a friend’s betrayal. They will learn how to build relationships that will last.
• Let them live without all of the things the world of retail is telling them they need. They will discover life is more than what you own.
You will be there when they hurt. You will be there when they heal.