Do you remember playing the game, Red Rover when you were a kid? I do. But I have to be honest—I didn’t like it very much. I didn’t like it because I was always the scrawny little kid that couldn’t break through the line. Instead, I usually ended up being clotheslined and knocked to the ground. Yah, that’s my idea of fun…not.
I’m not really sure why thoughts and memories of playing Red Rover came to mind the other day, but I do know they ended up being about more than just a silly kid’s game. As I thought about not being able to break the line no matter how hard I tried, I thought about how sometimes a child’s life ends up resembling a game of Red Rover.
No matter how hard they try to overcome an obstacle, fit in with their peers, or (worst of all) win their parents’ love and attention, it just doesn’t happen. No matter what they do it’s never enough. No matter how hard they try, someone else comes out ahead of them. No matter what they say or do, they go unseen and unheard. In other words, no matter how much energy and effort they put into being noticed and accepted, they can’t break through the barriers society shoves in front of them, the hate, ignorance, fear, or pride, in order to be seen for the amazing people they are.
How sad is that? Pretty darn sad!
Parents, you need to remember that life is not a game and your children are not playing pieces. You need to understand that a child can only take so many ‘clothesline hits’ before they stop trying and start settling for far less than they deserve. And once the ‘disease’ of settling takes root in their heart, it’s hard to get rid of it. Anxiety, depression, anger issues, eating disorders, self-destructive behaviors, poor self-respect…you name it, there’s a good chance it will happen, because these kids don’t think they deserve anything better. They think it’s their lot in life to get knocked down.
Don’t let this happen to your children. Don’t let one day go by without making sure they know your arms aren’t blocking them or shoving them out of the way. Make sure your children know your arms are always open to hug them, protect them, and guide them in whatever direction they need to go to be their best self. And when life does knock them down (because it will from time to time), make sure they know your arms are extended to pick them up and help them get back on their feet.
Copyright 2018 Darla Noble. No part of this can be used or copied without permission from the author.