Let Children Learn From Life

 The following Parenting Tip is from the National Center for Biblical Parenting.  The Elkhorn Hills UMC Adult Education Committee has sponsored parenting classes from the National Center for Biblical Parenting in the past.  A number of their books are available in the Elkhorn Hills UMC library.


Parents can sometimes accomplish more by allowing life to be the teacher. We all want our children to grow up to be wise. Wisdom sometimes means that kids struggle with life by themselves and then come out victorious. In order for this to take place, however, parents must give up the role of problem solver and take on the role of coach or counselor.

Some of the most valuable lessons come from experience. If parents can make the switch from rescuer to coach, children will learn more and develop wisdom. So the next time you see your child struggling, put on the coach’s hat and watch learning take place.

It’s a challenge to know when to solve problems for children and when to let them struggle. We don’t like to see our children frustrated or suffering. Sometimes though we, as parents, suffer more just watching our children deal with life. One mom said, “I can’t stand to watch my four-year-old tie his shoe. I just want to grab it and say, ‘Here, let me do it.'” But allowing our children to struggle through a problem to a solution or experience the consequences of foolishness often results in more effective learning than we could produce otherwise.

We can’t abandon our children though. When undue frustration builds or a situation becomes dangerous, we need to step in and help. Stepping in as a counselor or coach is the best way. Jesus used this approach with his disciples. He allowed Peter to walk on the water and fail but was close by to pick him up again. When the disciples failed at healing the epileptic boy, Jesus taught them a more complete way.


For more helpful tips for parenting, consider The Christian Parenting Handbook by Dr. Scott Turansky and Joanne Miller, RN, BSN.


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