BLOG OVERVIEW: Parents are stunting their kids from growth by their rescue. Hear how I stunted my son’s growth by rescuing him from a mess.
I sat down next to Stephen for dinner. Stephanie was preoccupied getting ready for work, leaving me to fly solo in helping our kids eat.
Stephen was a mess. At the time, Stephen was still struggling with how to control his fork. (okay, he still hasn’t mastered it) He would take one bite and only have the bite ended up in his mouth.
One bite after the other led to more food on the ground, chair, and his pants.
Reacting like any other good parent, so I thought, I wanted help him stay clean. So I grabbed the fork out of his hand and started to feed him.
It worked beautifully, the food was staying off of the floor and ending in his mouth.
But then I stopped and thought about my actions. Why was I feeding Stephen? How was I benefiting Stephen? How would my feeding him help him in the long run?
These questions went running through my head, then the answer hit me.
I AM NOT HELPING HIM!! I am stealing a lesson from him and in result, stunted my son’s growth. I needed to help him feed himself, not feed him directly.
Why Does Rescuing Your Child Stunt Growth?
What was I really teaching Stephen?
I was telling Stephen through my parental intervening, stay clean. I was showing Stephen, Daddy needs to help in order for you to eat correctly. I was telling Stephen to get it right.
This is not what I want to teach our kids. My wife, Stephanie, and I want our kids to understand, messes will happen when you first begin anything. We want them to understand learning will be messy. We want them to try new tasks and not fear failure or the mess.
Rescuing our children from messes will only stunt their growth. With every new adventure and new understanding comes a lesson. When we pull our kids out of the mess, we are pulling them out of a moment of learning.
Why Parents Rescue Kids?
From my experience, parents tend to rescue kids instinctively. It doesn’t come from reason or a thought out plan. If your kids are messy, you want to clean them up or prevent them from getting dirty. If your teenage son gets in trouble at school, we run to their defense (okay, sometimes).
When is the last time you wanted to rescue your child, but stopped because you knew they needed to learn a lesson?
Let Your Child Sit In The Lion’s Den
In Daniel 6, Daniel was setup in trap. The popular biblical story has been taught numerous times, “Daniel and The Lion’s Den.” But think about how this situation turned out.
Daniel was setup and then thrown into the lion’s den, left to die. But why didn’t God rescue him? Why didn’t God stop the accusers from setting up Daniel?
Was it because God wanted Daniel to learn a lesson? (not in a scolding type of way) Daniel didn’t do anything wrong, in fact, he did everything right. Isn’t that merit for a rescue by God?
Look at it a different way. God did rescue Daniel, but threw in the mix a lesson for extra measure.
The lessons Daniel learned are countless. However, they would have never been learned if he didn’t actually go into the lion’s den.
Should we stop rescuing our children so they could experience the lion’s den? God was with Daniel the whole time and watched over him. Shouldn’t we be doing the same thing?
Allow our kids to get messy, sit in the lion’s den while we watch over them. There are countless lessons we are stealing our kids from learning when we rescue them from the mess and lion’s den.