Tuesday, June 2, 2015

The "Fine Line" Between Help And Push

We had just reached the top of the trail that we had been hiking. It was just under a mile up hill. My son,Chase, practically sprinted to the top. The minute this kid walked he wanted to run; he has always been steady on his feet. We have hiked this trail several times. I remember wearing him for the first couple of years in these same woods. Around two and a half he declared he didn't want to be worn anymore and wanted to do it on his own. Fair enough, I was pregnant with my second son and there was no reason he couldn't try to maneuver himself around these woods with my help. Here we were about to descend down on the trail, when he asked for my hand and said: "Mama help me".


I took hold of his tiny hand in mine savoring the moment. It is not often he asks for help on these hikes. If I offer my hand he usually shrugs it away or says: "I got it". He is independent, stubborn, and every bit of me. I look down at him and smile. He has no idea how I am elated with love at this moment. He does not know my heart aches knowing that this is one of those moments which will be gone soon. The sweet young boy I first fell in love with four years ago will someday grow up.

I believe that teaching independence is important. I feel that it is vital to push your children to learn how to believe in themselves. To teach our children to be brave and make good choices on their own. I want him to be able to try things first before asking for help. I want him to be courageous and fierce.


I want him to learn that sometimes you fall down, get bruised up a bit, but you always get back up and try again.

I sometimes find myself struggling which way I want to guide him. I try not to be too quick to say: "Try" or better yet...to say "No".

There are also times when parenting that I have stood back and listened to him make a plea with his father for something I know he knows how to do. I will admit I have cringed in several of those and tried my best to stay away. Then there are other times that I have come forward and strategically suggested maybe Chase do whatever it is, on his own.


As we kept walking that day and I looked down at our hands laced together, I vowed not to take my hand away from his. I prayed the moment would last just a bit longer. A promise I made to myself awhile ago was that no matter what I would always allow my children to be the ones to pull away. He has to be the first one to unfold from a hug, pull back from a kiss, and to let go of my hand. I want him to know that I am there for him. I am there to hold him, to love him, to guide him, and to always help him. I want my hands, my arms, and my love to always be felt as a safe place. I want him to know that with me he can always find home.

I do not want my children to ever be afraid to come to me and ask for help. I want them to always be able to ask. My answer may not always be what they hope it to be, but I will be there to give them an answer. I will be there to nudge them in the right direction and support them in the choices they make. This is their story to write, I am just along for the ride to narrate it.



Other Posts By Discovering Me In Them:

Learning to Say "Yes" When I Really Want To Say "NO"!

My Son Is A Thief

What I Fear The Most



16 comments:

  1. This is lovely! Yes, being there to support him and letting him lead the way with gentle nudges if he needs them is a great way to parent.

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    1. Thank you. It is so hard sometimes knowing which direction to go. Yet I want him to have confidence and in helping to create that I believe he has to be able to lead.
      Thank you for stopping by!

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  2. Beautifully written :-)
    Push and help = constant struggle for me.

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    1. Thank you much!!
      It is a hard balance to find. We want to do what is best and sometimes that feels like flipping a coin.

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    1. I appreciate that. It was one of those moments I wanted to be sure I never forgot.

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  4. So sweet. You are smart to savor these moments. They grow up so fast.

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    1. I try to be sure that no matter what I remember these moments. They are constant reminders of how lucky I am.

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  5. Beautiful post, Crystal. I don't often get teary-eyed reading blog posts, but I did with this one. I really admire your parenting.

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    1. I appreciate that Kara! Parenting is surely the hardest thing I have ever done and some days I don't shine so bright! I try to tell myself there is always tomorrow to try again.

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  6. Lovely post Crystal! I made that same promise to myself before I had children. They pull away first, not me, ever. I remember as a kid/teenager watching a mom and child somewhere, maybe at the library. It was a reading circle or something similar and the kid really wanted to sit in the mom's lap and the mom wouldn't let him, shooed him away and said something to the effect of "you're to old to be sitting in my lap." And the look of rejection on the child's face was too much to bear. I felt so bad. My son is welcome in my lap as long as my bones will hold him.

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    1. I love the last line of what you said. I agree with you a 100%. It makes me think of the children's book I will Love You Forever.

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  7. I love this. It's such a push and pull. Maybe it will always be, just in a different way. Sometimes it makes me sad that my 6-year-old can do most things on her own these days. It makes me less impatient for my 2-year-old to do things independently. Thanks for sharing and linking up at the Manic Mondays blog hop!

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    1. Thank You Much Meredith! I agree, I think it will always feel this way. It's then doing our best to find which direction we want to "push" them in. Not any easy task!

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