As a parent you want to help your kids – it’s only natural. But take a step back once in a while and they might just amaze you.
Each of my kids has recently given me cause to rethink their limits and be blown away by their abilities.
It started a few weeks back when my 13 yr old was making a music video for a school project. He had already selected his music, found a karaoke version and written his own lyrics. He asked for help mixing his audio on top of the music but then refused any other help. A few days later he showed me the finished result – all his own work – and I was totally blown away. You can see the results of his efforts here and I’ll let you be the judge.
Next up…my eleven year old daughter. Her old iPhone would no longer hold a charge and so I ordered a new battery from iFixit.com.
I was all set to replace the battery – not a task that Apple makes easy – when she asked me not to start without her. She then proceeded to take on the entire procedure, following the on-screen instructions in a calm, methodical manner that would have been beyond many adults. 30 minutes later she had a fully restored iPhone and I was in awe of this young lady.
Finally my older son has been helping out with a local charity shop by taking pictures for them every weekend and posting items for sale on their website.
When he started this he was all fingers and thumbs. He was shy, awkward, forgot the camera once and turned up with a dead camera another time.
Yesterday he strolled into the office, picked up the camera and checked it over with a practiced air. I had a little time so I went with him to give the dog a much-needed walk.
When we arrived at the store I was amazed to see the calm and easy way with which he interacted with everyone, and how warmly they received him. This wasn’t my little boy anymore, this was a young man making his way in the world and I couldn’t help but feel proud for him.
It’s easy to forget that the role of children is to push limits. For them limits change on a daily basis – one day they can’t reach the faucet and the next they can.
Challenging limits; physical,mental or imposed by other, is not only normal but to be expected. Think on that they next time they challenge your authority. Children need boundaries or they feel adrift, but as parents we have to recognize that those boundaries change every day and we need to change with them.
The next time you are doing something for your kids take a step back and consider whether by “helping” them you are actually them holding back. I guarantee they will blow your mind if you would just let them.
4 responses to “If you love somebody…set them free”
Great blog post Barry! It points out several things. First, is how awesome it is to see growth in all it’s forms, whether physical, emotional, intellectual,social or spiritual. Second, it shows how fast that growth can occur in a child yesterday, a young man or lady today. Third, is to your title. It is always best to let a person sprout their own wings rather than us presuming we know the exact ways they need to grow. When the growth comes from the core of the individual, it is authentic and true growth based on who God made that person to be. It truly works best when we sit back and watch with wonder! Loved this post!
Thanks Don. It’s always amazing to me just how wonderfully different each of them is. I probably wouldn’t have designed them that way, but I wouldn’t change a thing. 🙂
That’s exactly what I say about each of my five kids, each of whom continue to amaze me in their own special way. Thanks for this lovely post.
Five! That’s a handful! I loved hearing about how they helped you celebrate your birthday though 🙂