To Fight or not to Fight
22 November 2019
When my daughter was in Primary School she got annoyed with me for not fighting her battles for her. The mother of one of her friends used to get involved and sort all her daughter’s issues out, and my daughter thought it was simply unfair that I didn’t do the same for her.
Although my mother’s heart was tempted to help her at all costs, with all my research as a parent and experience as a teacher, I knew fighting her battles for her did not actually help her. Whether it was an issue with an assignment, a supposed injustice from a teacher, a friendship concern or any other issue … as much as I wanted to step in and fix it, I knew that would not make things better for my daughter in the long run.
As parents, the best thing we can do for our kids is to train them in the way they should go (Proverbs 22:6). Rather than putting our boxing gloves up, we need to channel that energy positively into helping our children by:
1. Modelling the way Jesus dealt with problems.
2. Spending time upskilling them with strategies to work through problems.
3. Letting them practise with you how they could talk through an issue with someone.
4. Allowing them to experience failure and make mistakes that they can learn from.
5. Making problem solving with a positive attitude the way your household does life.
6. Separating the problem into bite-sized parts.
7. Showing that not all issues will or can be solved quickly.
8. Teaching them not to compare themselves with others.
9. Helping children understand their emotions and why they react certain ways.
10. Creating confidence in your child that they can deal with the problem.
Ronald Reagan said that “within the covers of the Bible are the answers for all the problems men face”. Parenting is definitely a tough gig! That’s why it takes a community to raise a child. When the home and school go into partnership with God we, together, form well-rounded citizens who approach issues in a God ordained and mature way.
My daughter is now 21, studying in America and super grateful I did not step in and fight her battles for her as she was growing up.
What was one of the biggest problems you had to solve as you were growing up? In what ways do you encourage your children to solve their problems now?
Head of Secondary