Mack and Macy know that part of my daily routine includes taking a walk—usually around our neighborhood. They enjoy going along—talking, walking, and especially running ahead to the next street crossing. Both girls know to wait—not to cross the street until I get there so we can cross together.
When I think about their running ahead…waiting…running ahead again...and waiting again, I think about how similar our walk is (or should be) to how we raise our children.
As parents we need to equip our children with the ability, confidence, and strength (physical and emotional) to ‘run ahead’ and experience life independently, yet still within our reach for those moments when they need our help, our hugs, our guidance, and for us to set boundaries for them. And when they come to a crossroads in life, they need to know a) to wait for us to help prepare them for it and b) to know when it’s safe to ‘run ahead’ again.
There are also times when Macy will run ahead but Mack won’t. She’ll stay behind; holding my hand and talking about whatever is on her mind. These times are equally important. These are the times we need to fully embrace and make the absolute most of. These are the times we need to be listening, talking, sharing, teaching, cheering, and reassuring. In other words, these are the times we need to be heavily investing in the most precious commodity on earth.
So whether your children are running ahead of you and exploring life on their own or walking beside you; learning as they go, it’s up to you to be the parent that provides the kind of environment and unconditional love and acceptance that makes it all possible.
Copyright 2016 Darla Noble. No part of this can be used or copied without permission from the author.