As a parent, it’s hard to remember sometimes that my son’s future is best predicted by his ability to handle, and learn from, pain-- not his ability to avoid it. It’s my instinct to want to make him avoid it-- not only scraped knees-- thinking further ahead, I would want him to avoid heartaches, a bad group of friends, etc.
With best intentions, parents believe in creating childhood memories for their kids that are full of fun, love and safety.
But, pain dealt with is a greater teacher than pain avoided.
If we teach our children that they are delicate-- the biggest problem might be they believe us. Not only through childhood and adolescence, but into adulthood. The experience of pain, in life, is inevitable.
We protected our first son from bumps, bruises and emotional outcrys. Now, he proceeds with caution most days. And, often, acts with the same intention to protect his siblings. We began questioning his learned hesitancy- and changed our approach, as parents, to be more inviting, letting pain in for the purpose of growth.
I speak, primarily to students, about habits. In this particular case, it was me/us/the adults who needed the habit change. The kids can take pain and grow from it. The kids, in this case, are going to be fine.