Moms are born fixers, we hate to see our kids suffer. Do you believe being a loving and responsible mom means managing circumstances so that your kids experience as little emotional discomfort as possible? Carrying the responsibility of another’s well being is a heavy load. Truth be told, the biggest learning gifts usually come wrapped in difficult circumstances. With training and support our kids grow through tough times. I used to try to wrap my kids in cotton wool. I thought if I controlled their environment and remained vigilantly aware I could pre-empt and protect them from cruelty and unkindness. That didn’t last long. My kid was obliviously unaware, but developmentally not as advanced as his peers. Kindergarten brought him face to face with a bully I couldn’t protect him from. In the moment that his classmate called him stupid I wanted to jump across that baby desk and silence the little shit. Even if it meant removing his tongue with blunt-tip scissors. Mamma bear in full-fledged protective mode. Over the years there have been many struggles I couldn’t soften. And eventually I learned to stop even trying. The endless hours with the reading tutor means his comprehension is off the charts. The need to home-school taught him to be responsible for himself and his education. The constant struggle to keep on top of the minutiae of daily life helped him be disciplined and organized. His inability to focus on more than one subject at a time, has over the years made him an expert in several fields. I learned that being a loving moms means allowing my kids to struggle and even fail. I also know this is easier said than done and takes self-discipline and practice. Some tips to help you try this on: 1. Start when they’re young and allow them to experience discomfort. Fight your natural instinct to rush in and take over, watch her get a Moms should let their kids suffer little frustrated, give her gentle instruction so she can have the opportunity to eventually experience success. 2. Look for the teaching and bonding moment in any less than perfect situation. Acknowledge the validity of the emotions that struggling and suffering brings. 3. Become a cheerleader rather than a fixer or problem solver. 4. Embrace your role as a soft, warm, judgement and advice-free haven where they can come to lick their wounds when life kicks them in the pants. Remember in allowing your kids to struggle you are in fact gifting them with so much more….the opportunity to be responsible for their own success and failures, the ability to develop emotional maturity and flexibility. The resiliency to deal with life on life’s terms. Cool thing too, they get to do this with mama bear in the wings. They don’t have the rude awakening of coming face to face with reality when they eventually do leave the den. Rather than annihilate the threat you get to be there to share all life’s ups and downs. How have challenging times made you who you are? Please leave a comment below.