Why Our Kids Need to Do Hard Things

Why Our Kids Need to Do Hard Things

I don’t believe any of us would really want to leave our kids unprepared for the challenges ahead in adulthood. We want what’s best for them. Truly we do. 

But sometimes we do our parenting thing without giving a thought to how our actions right now will play out in their adult years.

Sometimes we coddle and cater to these children God entrusted to us — wanting so badly for them to have this pleasant and lovely childhood, that we never teach our kids how to really live. Because really living sometimes involves doing hard things. “Sometimes” meaning a lot of the time.

Our kids don’t need every battle fought for them.

They don’t need us to make excuses for them.

They don’t always need to be rescued.

They don’t need to sit out of the hard work.

And they won’t benefit from having parents who dismiss the learning experience living with consequences will bring them.

Adults can attest to the fact that living with the effects of our actions is a very real part of adult life. We also know the stakes are higher as we age.

Your kids and my kids will benefit from helping with chores, learning to cook, fighting some of their own battles, sharing rooms with siblings, and loving people who are having a hard time. They also gain from earning privileges, saving money, having responsibilities, and failing at things they set out to do.

Never once have I witnessed a child benefit from having an easy world, void of consequences, handed to them.

Instead of letting them escape the repercussion of their choices, our kids need us to walk beside them as they face them — lovingly, graciously, and without condemnation. And that, my friends is where the hard work lies for us.

 

Related reading: Your Kid, 10 Years Later

Amanda Bacon
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Amanda Bacon

Amanda is the mother of eight kids through birth and adoption and has been married for eighteen years to the most helpful man on the planet. She is an encouraging voice for moms everywhere through the written and spoken word. In addition to The Masterpiece Mom blog and podcast, she also writes at AmandaBacon.com and is over the top in love with Instagram (@amanda_baconbits). Come over and say hi!
Amanda Bacon
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About Amanda Bacon

Amanda is the mother of eight kids through birth and adoption and has been married for eighteen years to the most helpful man on the planet. She is an encouraging voice for moms everywhere through the written and spoken word. In addition to The Masterpiece Mom blog and podcast, she also writes at AmandaBacon.com and is over the top in love with Instagram (@amanda_baconbits). Come over and say hi!

Comments

  1. HI Amanda!

    I read this post a week or so ago and I thoroughly agreed with every word written. I see so many kiddos today who are kept in a “bubble” so to speak. A few of my nephews and niece are some of those kids I know. My nephew who is 9 hasn’t laid a finger on doing the dishes and my sister in-law always says, “so and so is 9, he needs to learn to do these things” but she won’t take the time to teach him. Some of my nephews and niece have a lot of free time on their hands, which then leads to them picking on each other and so forth. I know someone else who is an adult now, but still expects his folks to “fix” his problems for him. He is on his second marriage now. When I was growing up, I shared a room with two out of my three brothers at different times. I shared a bathroom with all three brothers until they all moved out. My folks and I share our downstairs bathroom because of our B & B and we use the other bathroom for any guests who book our upstairs room. Even though I have lots of vision problems that I was born with, I was expected from a very early age to do my assigned chores. Setting the dinner table was one of my jobs. My folks instilled the importance of serving others by asking me to do things for them and others around me. I am thankful that my folks constantly asked me to do stuff for them and others. The other thing which was expected of me and my brothers growing up was making things right if we had wronged someone. Recently, I had to call one of my siblings to apologize for a half truth I told them earlier on the phone. What happened was, this family member had called, and I told them that this other person was somewhere, but didn’t tell them the where’s and why’s. They found out what happened afterwards and were upset. The reason why I didn’t share all the minor details was because I shared things in the past and this particular family member and her husband would always get upset with me and I would be in trouble, then it would end up with a phone call which would last for an hour or more with the family member’s voice raised. Was that a fun thing for me to do to make it right? No, but I did and it was the right thing for me to do. I have seen mothers pull their kids out of something because, “Well, Johnny doesn’t like that, or that made Johnny feel bad, or the Coach was way too hard on Willie” Rather than making Johnny or Willie try harder or finding out from the Coach or someone else what happened, they just assumed it was the adult’s fault, and didn’t find out from the kid what went on. I was a Children’s Leader for Bible Study Fellowship for a year a few years back, and towards the end of the year, there were two mothers who would drop their 11 and 8 month old girls off st my class room, and then two minutes later would be right back to pick them up. They would always appear in the doorway saying, “Well, I’ll take so and so with me because she’s crying” It kind of drove my co-Leader and I up the wall because these two little girls never could transition into the routine of the morning. This went on for about 6 weeks or so, and the one mother with the 11 month old little girl dropped out of Bible Study Fellowship, and the other mother with the 8 month old said, “Well, she cries and she’s used to the front pack” I kind of unwittingly walked in on this conversation with this mother and our Children’s Supervisor, and offered the Mom that if the Mom wanted to leave the front pack that I would be happy to strap in with the little baby girl while I went through the morning. The mother was like, “Oh, but your back, you can’t possibly do that! so and so is pretty heavy!” Our Children’s Supervisor goes, “She is actually stronger than she looks” referring to me, my co leader goes, “Bethany is pretty sturdy” and I told the Mom that my youngest nephew weighed just as much as her daughter, perhaps more. The moral of this story is, that these mothers weren’t really doing these two baby girls any favors by coming immediately back and picking the girls up just because they were crying. In a way, it would have been good for these little girls to be “stretched” a little and coming to BSF while the Moms went to their classes would have been great for the little girls, but instead the Moms ran right back in to “save” them. I would tell my Mom about this incident every week and I worried that it would only be harder for these little baby girls in the longer run. Neither of these little girls would fit in the front pack forever. One of the mothers said, “Well, so and so is going to cry” and our Children’s Supervisor said, “Don’t worry, she’s certainly not the first and she certainly won’t be the last” This other mother dropped out of BSF eventually as well. The baby girl was to the point where she almost needed to be in the class room of her age group. I co taught the Infants and Toddlers class that year, so this baby girl was to be in my class. As I was growing up, I learned the value of money at an early age. My Mom would give me an allowance of either $5.00 each week or $10.00 every other week. Mom and Dad would work with me whenever I got my allowance or earned the money by doing extra jobs around the house as far as giving some to the Lord, put some away for later, and then figure out if there was anything I needed to buy, such as a gift or something else like that, not just blow it on a toy or candy. I thank God that He gave me parents who taught me the important things that have made me into the person I am today. I see so many parents dropping the ball and their kids now are a complete royal mess.
    Thank you for sharing!
    God Bless!
    Bethany

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