Doing vs. Showing

This is a story I heard on the radio, I do not know if it is in fact true, but it makes a great example.

A boy, 23, was working at a company that was going to lay people off at the end of 2012.  He along with many others was doing everything he can to show the company that he was a team player.  He somehow found out he was on the list of people they were going to let go, and naturally told his mother this.  Behind the boy’s back the mother decided to contact his boss.  When the boy got called into the office he found out his mother had contacted his boss and yelled at him.   He ultimately got to keep his job, which was good.

So what did this teach the 23-year-old?  It taught him that when life gets tough, mommy to the rescue.  Today we are a society that loves to “baby” our children.  I know that parents think that they are protecting their children and helping them, but in reality all they are doing is hurting them in the long run.

Think about all the different things that parents have to teach their children.  Walk, talk, read, write…..the list goes on and on.  Would you still want to read everything for your child at 23?  I don’t think so.  So why is it that parents like to fight the battles for their children? What is going to happen when they aren’t there to do that?  What is going to happen when they are left all on their own? By doing it for them, we are teaching them that we will always do it for them.

I am not talking about when it is appropriate to fight the battle, I am talking about when the child needs to learn to handle themselves.  If you always pay their bills and take care of their money, how are they going to learn?  If you always do it for them, how will they learn to do it for themselves.

At some point we, as parents, need to let go of the reigns  and let our children take them.  I know it can be hard from time to time, it may take longer, it may not be perfect, but if we don’t they will never learn to do it on their own.


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