Lately my thoughts have been directed to how much we as parents enable our children.
I was listening to Focus on the Family the other day and Dr. Dobson was interviewing a woman who was talking about enabling her son to the point of him ending up in prison. The story ends happily as he has found Jesus in jail but it was how he got there that has me thinking. The mother in the interview was talking about how she continued to bail him out of his bad decisions so that she could make up for any short comings as a parent and to help her child not feel any hurt.
Last night I was talking to my neighbor Marci who is a 5th grade teacher. She was telling me about a parent teacher conference that she had this past week where the mother was more concerned with her child's beautiful hair than the fact that he can't read past a 2nd grade level. She says that she finds it amazing how many parents enable their children to get away with things that they shouldn't.
Both of these things have me thinking about how I will be as a parent. My child is still very young so I figured it was irrelevant to me at this point and something to think about for the future. Then I really started taking a look at my everyday with my child. There are little things that I do for my daughter that I should be letting her learn and do on her own. I put the small pieces of food in her mouth instead of letting her learn to pick them up because it's faster. I get her the toy that is across the room instead of letting her get there on her own because I don't want her to be without the thing that she wants.
I think it's natural to want to take as much pain and discomfort away from our children. The trick is discerning when it's the right thing to do and when we should just let our children go. Situations like we have in our family right now with Taylor are times when it's obviously ok to want to shield the pain. As we raise our children in His ways, we will have to continue to seek the Lord's guidance and trust that God will use our imperfections to His glory.
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