Thursday, June 19, 2008

Allowing Kids the Benefit of the Struggle

Check out this article (

"Allowing Kids the Benefit of the Struggle"
Michelle Groff
Parenting by Design

Excerpt from "Allowing Kids the Benefit of the Struggle"

"It dawned on me that this story is an analogy for our role in parenting. How often we feel compelled to intervene and “do the fishing” for our kids! We see their struggles! We have the answers! We’ve fished these waters before! We know the fish by name and we know exactly how to navigate the murky water that seems so foreign to our children. We hate to see their frustration. We hate to see their failure. After all, we know how to catch the fish!
The problem is, as frustrated as they are, they don’t really want us to catch the fish for them. What they really want and need is for us to help them see the fish for themselves so they can catch them on their own!"

"What can we do to avoid these pitfalls and help them learn to see the fish? By sitting patiently in the river with them as they flail and grumble and learn. By restraining our urge to do it for them! By waiting for them to ask for our guidance instead of suffocating them with our “knowledge”. By choosing well-timed words of encouragement over lectures. By avoiding the trap of seeing their success or failures as a reflections on us. By valuing the lessons the learning process provides over the final result. If we can quell the storm within us as parents, the payoff is precious indeed! Lo and behold, our child may start to catch a glimpse of those darn fish"

Great stuff. (The websight is Love and Logic also places high value on allowing children to learn, experience struggle and even failure. If children experience struggle and failure while the consequences are small they will learn lessons that help them later, when the consequences are much bigger.

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