Thursday, September 15, 2011

When is Struggling the Best Way Out?

One of the hardest parts about being a parent is watching your children struggle. Whether your child is struggling to master a new skill in a sport or a homework assignment, it can be hard to take a step back and let your child handle it.

There's a Native American legend of a man watching a butterfly as it fought to emerge from a small hole in its cocoon. He watched for several hours as the butterfly struggled to force its body through this little hole. After awhile it stopped pushing and seemed to have given up. The man decided to help the butterfly by carefully enlarging the hole. The butterfly quickly emerged but its body was swollen and its wings were shriveled. It crawled around dragging its wings.

What the man didn't realize was that the butterfly needed to struggle through the small opening in order to force the fluids from its body into its wings which would strengthen its wings to fly. Having missed that opportunity to push through the small opening, the butterfly was weak and was never able to fly.

The man's desire to help that butterfly sadly had the opposite effect. Children are a lot like butterflies. They need to struggle in order to learn how to fly.

Doing Your Own Work

Children learn by doing. When your children do a task, they build their brain connections. When you do a task for them, you reinforce your own brain connections without adding to theirs.

(read the rest of the article at Priceless Parenting)

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