An avid gardener once saw a small butterfly laying a few eggs in one of the pots in his garden. Since that day he looked at the egg with ever-growing curiosity and eagerness. The egg started to move & shake a little. He was excited to see a new life coming up right in front of his eyes. He spent hours watching the egg now. The egg started to expand and develop cracks. A tiny head & antennae started to come out ever so slowly.
The man’s excitement knew no bounds. He got his magnifying glasses and sat down to watch life – the body of a pupa coming out. He saw the struggle of the tender pupa and could not resist his urge to HELP. So, he got out a pair of forceps to help the egg break. A nip here, a nip there to help the struggling life form. And lo ! the pupa was out. The man was ecstatic ! He now waited each day for the pupa to grow and hatch into a beautiful butterfly. Alas ! that never happened. The larvae pupa had an over-sized head and kept crawling along in the pot for the full Four weeks and died !
Depressed the man went to his botanist friend and asked about the reason for this misfortune. His friend replied that the struggle to break out of the egg helps the larvae to send blood to its wings and the head push helps the head to remain small so that the tender wings can support it through its four-week life-cycle. In his eagerness to help, the man had destroyed a beautiful life !
Struggles help all of us, that’s why a wee bit of effort goes a long way to develop our strength to face life’s difficulties!
As parents, we sometimes go too far trying to help & protect our kids from life’s harsh realities & disappointments. We don’t want our kids to struggle like we did. But Harvard psychologist, Dr.Dan Kindlon says that, over-protected children are more likely to struggle in relationships and with challenges. We’re sending our kids the message that they’re not capable of helping themselves.
To quote clinical psychologist Dr.Wendy Mogel: “It is our job to prepare our children for the road… not prepare the road for our children…”