Suffering and Independence

One of the hardest things as a parent is to let your kids suffer. But if you don’t, they’ll have a harder time becoming independent.

At each step, letting them work through harder things more and more on their own requires a small death as a parent. One, because you have to resist your instinct to save them. Two, because you can feel little by little them going out on their own; becoming less and less the child under your care and more and more an independent entity.

This is a wonderful development, but you can’t get there without the suffering of letting them suffer.

And maybe the hardest part is that your kids will not understand or appreciate how hard this is for you. In their weaker moments, they may even accuse you of enjoying it.

But parenting means, if nothing else, letting the part of you that wants credit for things die.