One of my favorite books is The Gift of Failure by Jessica Lahey. The message of allowing our kids to fail is one that I know I don’t do enough. I don’t want them to be sad or upset. I don’t want them to feel bad. But all of my saving only keeps them from learning from their failures. I’m serious. I read that book and thought… “I need a major adjustment to my parenting!”
Be Led. A time for growth.
Similarly, a few months ago, I was reading a devotional and I came to a part that said, Be Led. Two little words that stopped me in my tracks. The words jumped out at me like a neon flashing light. They might as well have said, “HEY BETH. THIS MESSAGE IS FOR YOU… Be led.”
If I’m being honest, I’m not great at being led. I like a certain amount of control. It helps decrease my anxiety. Let me give you an example.
I am a terrible back-seat driver. Especially with my husband. (Sorry, honey!). I can get anxious about certain driving strategies (like continuing to accelerate on the interstate when the car in front of you has lit up break lights). And when driving around town, I believe that I have the fastest route through town. Although there are probably infinite ways that a person could drive from our home to the other side of town, I believe MINE is the best. 🙂
So. When my husband takes a different path, I say something (unhelpful) like, “Why are you going this way?” His response, “Because I want to do this way.” — OBVIOUSLY.
In my mind, I am then reminded that it honestly isn’t any faster or better to go my way. It really doesn’t matter the path we go. All that matters is that we arrive. My need to control doesn’t actually make the outcome better. (Yes. I know. I am still a work in progress!)
Now. Let’s take that lesson to our kids!
How can we BE LED – let go of control – and trust others to help us (and our kids) grow?
Trust our teachers. Be led. Allow others to grow our kids.
Every teacher who has ever stepped foot in a classroom has had some level of training on how to be a teacher. Yes. Some will have much more experience than others. And certainly some teachers are more passionate than others. But for the most part, we could probably say most teachers have more training on teaching than we do.
As parents, our job is to trust our teachers and allow the space to be led by them. Give them a few days or weeks or months to get to know your child and what he/she needs. Beyond that, can I encourage us all to entertain the idea that they might have a different path than you are thinking about. And, much like my example above, remember that there are many paths to a certain destination. So if your child’s teacher has a lesson or homework assignment that you may not understand the purpose of, give it a day or two to see if their path might have been better than your idea.
Allow your teen to fail. Be led. Allow growth for us – and your teen!
I may not make friends with this next section. Encouraging our teens to lead us might sound like the most ridiculous thing to you. That’s okay. Sometimes the things I think about sound ridiculous to me, too! That being said, I have seen many times how teens build confidence as we give them the lead. If your teen has something they want to do, allow them to lead – even if you perceive failure on the horizon! It can be a hard thing to allow, but you will also be surprised at how interesting your teen’s reaction is when you allow the space for this to happen.
Tried your hand at being led by your child’s teacher? Or your teen?? SHARE WITH US! How did it go?