So when does it begin? That is, the bubble of protection we put around our children. From birth on instinct kicks in, and we become the mother or father of protection. We guard our babies from germs, accidents, strangers, dangers, you name it. Without such protection, a baby wouldn’t have a chance of surviving on its own. However, when does that bubble of protection end? More importantly, can the bubble of protection we put around our children actually become a bubble of suffocation?
As your child grows, a good parent will naturally teach their children safety precautions like not sticking their fingers in electrical sockets, not petting stray animals, not answering the door to strangers, and the list can go on and on. However, each parent must individually decide when their child is ready to make such important decisions on their own. We need to teach our children as they are growing how to reason on matters. In time, they will recognize what to stay away from as well as what to go toward. I like to think of the bubble getting thinner as they break out and start walking toward adulthood–somewhat like a chick breaking out of their eggshell. Perhaps that is what we call “growing up.”
Anyone not a parent might think it’s easy letting kids grow up. I’m telling you it’s not; for some of us it’s the hardest part of being a parent. Sometimes we just need to take a deep breath and trust they’ll make the right decision. A parent should not always be the safety net by catching them before they fall. When we do that, we are actually suffocating them. Kids need to know there are consequences to their actions. Consequently, when they become adults they will know with every decision they make there is a consequence; at times good and at other times not so good.
We don’t want to suffocate our kids. Let them grow physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually into beautiful thriving adults. Like a spring that is gradually released, we as parents should gradually allow our kids more responsibility in proportion to their maturity in handling the matter. When they do well and understand the decision they have made, you can give more freedom with more responsibility.
My best advice is to always remember, as a friend once told me, our purpose of being a parent is to raise competent adults that can make good sound decisions. If you agree, as your kids grow into adulthood, you will not suffocate them but instead gradually make them bubble-free