Last week when Cady was sick, David took her to the doctor and then to Target to get her prescriptions filled. While they were in the store, she told David that she needed to go to the bathroom. He walked her to the ladies room and waited outside for her to complete her business.
What he didn’t know at the time was that her “business” was vomiting. Her stomach was bothering her and she went to the restroom to puke. By herself. Alone. She’s seven years old. I don’t blame him at all because he had no idea what was going on. She came out of the restroom and he made sure she was okay and got her something to drink.
I will admit that I did a little momma freak out when I found out about this. I was just shocked that she went into the restroom and took care of this business all by herself. I was also a little perturbed that NONE of the women in the restroom (she said it was full) offered to help her or asked if she okay.
I told her that next time (Oh Lord I hope this never happens again) she should tell her dad so he can go in the family restroom with her and help her. I’m not sure how he can help her, but at least she wouldn’t be alone.
Then I paused and really started thinking about what happened. On her own she went to the restroom, took care of her business all by herself, cleaned herself up, and then came out to tell her dad what happened and asked for a drink. Alone. Independent. I suddenly became very proud of my seven year old instead of very worried that she had to go through this “ordeal” by herself. She faced the problem and she handled it.
Isn’t that what we all want as parents? Shouldn’t it be our goal to teach our children how to be independent?
The reason for all of this deep thinking? Yesterday morning I was watching the news and they were running a story about Justin Bieber doing something stupid on Twitter. The news anchor laughed it off as “oh he’s just a teenager.” But wait a minute… he is 18. Technically still a teenager, but also a legal adult. We are talking about a teenager that has been making decisions about his music career since he was 12. Not exactly your normal teenager.
Plus, are we doing our children a disservice by not expecting them to be adults when they reach 18? At 18 I was married and living on my own with my husband. At 18 you can join the military and be sent to war. Do you really want to think about the young men and women defending our country as “just teenagers”? I personally believe they deserve more respect than that.
Here’s the thing… Young people are going to make stupid mistakes. Lord knows I’ve made my share. But what is so great about those mistakes is that we LEARN from them. If we are constantly trying to step in and do for our kids or if we continuously make excuses for their behavior they are never going to learn.
Wisdom comes with age, and the price of wisdom is failure. I believe that by not letting our children fail, or by making excuses for them we are doing them a total disservice.