“The hardest part of raising a child is teaching them to ride a bike. A shaky child on a bike for the first time needs both support and freedom. The realization that this is what the child will always need can hit hard.”
If you have ever taught your child to ride a bike, then you know exactly what this quote is saying. The day you teach your child how to ride a bike is one of the hardest things to do because you have to give them enough support to get them going and then know just the right time to let go.
It can be so hard to let go of them, knowing they are going to fall sometimes and even possibly get hurt. You do everything you can to teach them how to do it right, sharing your own experiences, giving them the advice they need, then give them support to get them rolling, but it still all comes down to you knowing when to let go.
Some of you may be sending your babies away to college for the first time and others like me who are sending them to every day school for the first time. It doesn’t matter where or how, it is still scary to let go.
We do everything we can to teach them how to do it right. We share our own experiences and instruct them on how to stay safe, but just like teaching them to ride a bike for the first time, we have to give them enough support to get started and then know when it is the right time to “let go”.
We know they will fall sometimes, we know they may get hurt, but one of the most important things we can teach our children is to fly when we let go of them, make sure they know we will be there to support them while they are learning to fly and be there when they fall and get hurt, to run to them, pick them up, dust them off, nurse their wounds, then set them back on course to try again.
Having both that support and freedom are so important for our children and the hardest things us parents must do because they only work when in balance. Too much of one and not enough of the other and the child will suffer. Finding that balance as a parent is much harder than the child finding his balance on a bike, but we keep trying till we get it right.
So if you are facing that lesson with your 18 year old or your 5 year old, take heart, for your strength comes from God who let His own Son go knowing he was going to fall and get hurt, but He also knew He would raise Him back up again. His experiences have helped the rest of us to learn to fly and to ultimately teach our own children to fly by supporting them and then letting them go.
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