Under Their Own Power
While I was out for a walk I came upon a young father coming out of the driveway behind his toddler son who was on one of those big plastic tricycles that has the handle behind for pushing. The son signaled the direction he wanted to go with his right arm and pointer finger. Upon being pushed that way, he signaled his entry into traffic using the bell on his handle bars.
As I approached I said, “Wow he’s got honking and signaling down already.”
“Yeah, now if there could be some self propulsion” the man replied rather glumly.
I looked down to see the boy, his feet resting firmly on those unmoving pedals. He smiled up at me as if to say “Why pedal, when I have someone to push me?”
In that instant I saw the plight of so many parents. We want our kids to learn and grow to be self-sufficient, and all the while we are preventing their success by applying the effort for them. These days we usually do need to provide the environment, maybe the equipment, and often some instruction. And we may need to offer them some help getting started because there is inertia in getting those pedals going. But then we need to give them our best gift: support from a distance.
Only with their efforts achieving little successes in the midst of life’s struggles can they discover themselves capable. Before you know it they’re self-propelling!