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Help them grow better, not bitter.


My maternal uncle shared this story with me 8 years ago and it has stayed with me ever since because of the profound insight it gave me and today I felt like sharing it ahead. It’s about an avid gardener who once saw a small butterfly laying few eggs in one of the pots in his garden. Since that day he looked at the egg with ever growing curiosity and eagerness.

With time, the larvae started to move and shake a little. He was excited to see a new life coming up right in front of his eyes and he began to spend hours watching the progress. It started to expand and develop cracks. And soon a tiny head and antennae started to come out and the man's excitement knew no bounds. He got his magnifying glasses and sat to watch the life and body of a pupa coming out. He saw the struggle of the tender pupa and couldn't resist his urge to "HELP" so he went and got forceps to help this new life break from its covering so, a nip here, a nip there, he helped the struggling life and the pupa was out. The man was ecstatic! He waited now each day for the pupa to grow and fly like a beautiful butterfly, but alas that never happened. The caterpillar had an oversized head and kept crawling along in the pot for the full 4 weeks and died! Depressed the man went to his botanist friend and asked the reason. His friend told him the struggle to break out of the egg helps the larvae to send blood to its wings and the head push helps the head to remain small so that the tender wings can support it through its 4 week life cycle. In his eagerness to help, the man destroyed a beautiful life! Struggles help all of us, that's why a bit of effort goes a long way to develop our strength to face life's difficulties! Especially as parents we sometimes go too far trying to help and protect our children from life's harsh realities and disappointments. We give them the best of amenities because we just don’t want them to struggle like we did. However, Harvard psychiatrist Dr. Dan Kindlon says that over-protected children are more likely to struggle in relationships and with challenges. Without realising we're sending our kids the message that they're not capable of helping themselves. And I wonder could this be a reason for the rising cases of clinical depression and anxiety in pre teens today. I also found clinical psychologist, Dr. Wendy message very important. She says that "It is our job to prepare our children for the road & not prepare the road for our children.” Remember: Let them run as they have their whole life to then just walk. Let them fall so that they learn to get up. Let them cry so that they know how to heal and give vent to their emotions. Let them sweat and feel the heat. Let them fight with their friends so that they learn to make up and resolve conflicts. Help them grow better, not bitter.

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