This is when they need us most.

My oldest daughter is 7.  That’s a great age to watch.  They are so independent.  They shower by themselves, get their own drinks, feed themselves, wipe their own bottoms.

I was thinking the other day about all the stuff she can do on her own and how it appears my job as a parent is over.  But then it hit me; my job is really just beginning.

It is in these stages of independence that our kids need us most.  Now that she is developing her unique perspective on the world, she needs a guide more then ever.  She needs me too walk beside her and answer questions about what she is seeing.  She needs me to help her maneuver through life’s rough spots.

And the toughest part of all….she needs me to step back and let her go.  I have to let her fail at things.  I have to watch as she makes decisions that I know (I think) won’t work.  Because that is the only way she will learn.  Actually, that is the only way for her to build confidence.  Yeah, I could follow behind her and tell her over and over again  “that won’t work” or “this is how you do it”.  But she has to accept her choices regardless if she fails or succeeds. And I have to let her know that’s okay.  Man, that is tough.  No one wants to see their child fail, or at least I don’t.

The vocation of parenting is never over.  It just changes with the times.  We parent in stages and each stage is as unique as the previous.

What part of parenting do you find the most difficult?  The easiest?

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