Life is full of choices. Some are easy choices and some are hard, but the upside of choices is they are always ours to make and no one can ever take that away from us. However, the downside to choices is that while we get to make them, we don’t get to choose what consequences may result from them.
Some choices bring positive consequences and others result in negative consequences. And just as our choices are ours alone to make, the consequences of our choices are ours alone to bear. Thus bringing light to just how seriously we should be taking the choices we make in our lives.
You would think that as you get older, making choices becomes easier…and in some cases that’s true. That’s because hopefully we’ve been learning from the mistakes we’ve made that brought negative consequences upon us that then teach us to be wiser and make better choices the older we get.
Then you become a parent…and suddenly you are watching your kids make choices. You watch them make mistakes and everything in you wants to jump in and save them from their consequences because as a parent the last thing you want is to see your child hurt. But you can’t…or at least you shouldn’t….because facing those consequences is what taught you to be wiser and make better choices, and now you need to allow their negative consequences to do that same thing for them….but man is it difficult to do….
I’m gonna fully admit I have never been good at letting my kids face their consequences…it kills me to see them sad or hurt…but I’ve realized it’s an area I have to get better at – for their sake. I’m recognizing that good parenting requires not only allowing our children to make their own choices, but also allowing them to face the consequences of their choices…even when it’s heartbreaking for them to do so.
“Life was never intended to consist of a glut of luxury, be an easy course, or filled only with success. There are those games which we lose, those races in which we finish last, and those promotions which never come. Such experiences provide an opportunity for us to show our determination and to rise above disappointment.” -Thomas S. Monson
The best we can do is to try to encourage our kids to learn from our past mistakes while explaining to them how much easier their lives will be if they avoid having to learn things the hard ways that we did. After that all we can do is be present to hug them when they stumble and remind them that the heartbreaking experiences are their opportunity to show their determination and rise above disappointment.
~Amy Rees Anderson