“At every step the child should be allowed to meet the real experience of life; the thorns should never be plucked from his roses.” ~ Ellen Key

As parents, we all have the innate drive to preserve the species and protect our offspring at all costs. Yes, in the physical this makes a great deal of good sense. But if we are to instill in our children a sense of independence, competence and confidence then we have to teach our children how to protect themselves.

On a psychological level, this is even more critical. While our children have the benefit of our life experience and loving support, this is the time to allow them to experience the skills to deal with the real challenges of life. Rather than feel we are protecting our children from sad, disturbing or difficult events when we shield them, we are in fact robbing them of the opportunity to learn the responses that they will inevitably need long after we are no longer in this life. If we do not allow our children to develop the emotional maturity to deal with disappointment, loss or confrontation, we do not equip them for life in its fullness. Learning to pluck a rose with knowledge of its thorns allows us to delight in the beauty and fragrance of life itself. What is the greatest gift you can give your child? The gift of his or her own real life experience.

Me agapi (with love)


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