A man who was a loving gardener spent a great deal of time tending the flowers and plants and his gratification was in seeing them bloom. One day he saw a butterfly laying a few eggs in one of the pots in his garden. Since that day he looked at the egg with ever growing curiosity and eagerness.
The egg started to move and shake a little. He was excited to see a new life coming up right in front of his eyes. He spent hours watching the egg now. The egg started to expand and develop cracks. A tiny head and antennae peeped through ever so slowly. The man's excitement knew no bounds. He got his magnifying glass and sat to watch the life and body of a pupa coming out. The gardener saw the struggle of the tender pupa and couldn’t resist the urge to HELP. He went and got a small forceps to hasten the breaking of the egg with a small nip here and a nip there. And Lo Behold! The pupa was out and the man was ecstatic. He waited now each day for the pupa to grow and fly about as a beautiful butterfly. But alas that never happened. The larvae pupa had an oversized head and kept crawling along the pot for about four weeks and then finally perished. The gardener was very disheartened; and so he went to a botanist friend of his to talk about this and find out the reason why the pupa hadn’t become a butterfly and flown as he had wanted.
HIs friend explained to him that the struggle to break out of the egg helps the larvae to send blood to the wings and the head push helps the head to remain small so that the tender wings can support it through its four week life cycle. In his eagerness to help the gardener had actually hampered the growth and destroyed a beautiful life.
Struggles strengthen! Our efforts go a long way in developing our character & ability to meet the challenges in our lives.
As parents, we sometimes go too far in trying to help and protect our children from the realities and disappointments of life. We don’t want our kids to struggle like we did. Overprotected children are more likely to struggle in maintaining relationship and in facing challenges head-on. We could be sending out a message to the children that they are not capable of helping themselves. We should let them grow at their own pace and build their inner and outer strength. We should instil the confidence in them to face the challenges in life and guide them as and when needed but not make them wholly dependent on us.
A fruit plucked prematurely will not ripen properly. Children who are forced to walk before they are physically ready to do so often develop bow shaped legs. Similarly, children who are pressurized to talk before they are ready often develop a stammer or stutter.
One of the biggest virtues parents and adults have to develop is the art of patience. We have to bide our time to ensure that the children blossom and bloom at the pace they are ready to. Pushing them, or cajoling and pressurizing them will get us nowhere. In fact it will only create further resistance and self-consciousness in the child.
Parents approach us at The Little Company with this query very often. My child is not speaking what should I do? She is not forming full sentences, what should I do? My child is still crawling and standing up but not walking or running, is that a problem? As they grow children will achieve their mile stones though some may do it quicker and others may take their own time doing so. There have been instances wherein children have started walking very early and not spent much time crawling that is because they are ready to do so. Often children who have spoken in monosyllables will, when ready, start speaking in sentences and it’s such a wonder to hear them articulating with such ease, When we focus too much on any one issue on the child we are only making them more aware of it and this could lead to having a negative or discouraging effect on the child.
So as with most things in life, whether it’s the blooming of a flower or the marinating or slow fire cooking of a delicious dish, we need to bide our time patiently and see our children bloom, grow and progress at their pace without rushing them and without instilling an uncalled for sense of urgency in them.
As Dr. Wendy Mogel, a clinical psychologist said "It is our job to prepare our children for the road and not prepare the road for our children".