On Parenting

By the end of this month, my child will turn 18. There was a time she was struggled to lift her head during tummy time, and I remember her first wobbly steps while I feared she’d take a header off the coffee table.

I occurs to me that these moments reoccur.

She’s currently navigating decisions about college, and now, like then, I have to remind myself to let her grapple with the challenge.

She was learning to ride a bike, I couldn’t hold her up or she’s never learn to balance. When she was learning to drive, I couldn’t hold the wheel or she’d never learn to steer. When she was falling in love, I couldn’t play her matchmaker and chaperone or she’d never learn how to exist in a romantic relationship. As she learns how to be an adult, she needs the space to try and fail — or fall.

Like a newborn bird working its way out of its shell, the struggle is critical to the necessary growth. The necessary strengthening. Standing back comes with risk, but intervention comes with more.