Yesterday in a group, we were discussing how over-protective we have become towards our children. Of course, there were points for and against the topic, but the question remained how much care and protection the children need from their parents.
I remember, when I was hardly 12, my mom gave me 100 bucks to go and see Lucknow all alone. It was a nice experience for me as I came to know and deal with a variety of people on my own apart from seeing monuments like bhulbhlaiya. But when it came to me, I preferred to accompany my children. There may be numerous reasons to justify it, but this attitude stunts the normal growth.
In this connection, one of my friends narrated a very beautiful story of a man, who saw a small butterfly 🦋 laying few eggs in one of the pots in his garden and he grew curious to see how a new life would come up right in front of his eyes.
The egg started to move and shake a little. Thereafter, it started expanding and developing cracks. The man was excited. As the tiny head and antennae started to come out slowly, he got his magnifying glasses and sat to watch the life and body of a pupa coming out.
He saw the struggle of the tender pupa and took a small forceps to help the egg break by nipping here and there. Finally, the pupa was out. The man waited each day for the pupa to grow and fly like a beautiful butterfly, but alas that never happened.
It had an oversized head and kept crawling along in the pot for the full four weeks and died. In his eagerness to help, the man had destroyed a beautiful life.
Help and care do matter, but to an extent only. A plant can’t grow in shades. It also needs a bit of sunlight for a normal growth. Sunshine is of great importance in the journey of life and success. Our steps tend to stop as soon as we get a shade.
Struggles help all of us, that’s why a bit of effort goes a long way to develop our strength to face life’s difficulties.
As parents, we sometimes go too far trying to help and protect our kids from life’s harsh realities and disappointments, always with a protective umbrella ☔ in our hands. A child-centred parenting often produces self-centred children, who develop a deceptive sense of importance.
The fact remains that we don’t want our kids to struggle and face what we did, but in a way, we’re sending our kids the message that they’re not capable of helping themselves. Harvard psychiatrist Dr. Dan Kindlon says that over-protected children are more likely to struggle in relationships and with challenges. The excess of anything is bad.
I conclude with a quote by the clinical psychologist, Dr. Wendy Mogel:
“It is our job to prepare our children for the road, and not prepare the road for our children.”