There are so many different types of Improvised Explosive Devices (IED) and there are so many different ways to try and find them, stop them and avoid them. Since the military is attacked through these IEDs they have started to create more tactical vehicles that have protection left and right to keep the people inside the vehicles safe. But as the military has gotten savvier on making stronger vehicles, the enemy has gotten more daring making larger bombs to ensure damage.
We spent a lot of time training on how to find them. How to avoid them. And the military does a good job of finding some of them before they cause damage, but even with all that training we still get hit. IEDs are a threat and we can train for them, prepare for them and do what we can to protect ourselves from them, but they still will be there and eventually we will hit them.
Kids Like IEDs
Our kids are similar to IEDs. There are so many different types of personalities. Different from our own, similar to our own, both make parenting hard. And then things work for one kid and not for another. Maybe that is why you can find so many different parenting books out there.
As parents, we try to train ourselves on how to keep our kids from blowing up or falling out of place. But just like the military giving the training to its members we sometimes mess up and hit whatever is hidden. Luckily for us, parenting issues don’t start out big. We are learning as our kids are learning. We have to allow our kids to learn more and rely less on us as they grow older.
The older they get the more hands-off we have to be. That way they can deal with small problems on their own. These small problems are life lessons. When we continually swoop in and save the day we are not allowing them to learn.
Right now for me, it is having consequences for their actions. Sometimes it is so hard to stick to what I say and make the punishment stick. It often feels easier to just let it slide.
Parenting can be like a Tactical Vehicle
Sometimes parents can be like tactical vehicles. Protecting them from the world and when they eventually get hit. It isn’t a small blast, but something big. That could hurt them for the rest of their lives or cripple them from moving forward. Right now, my boys are little and I have to let them push the boundaries and learn from the natural consequences. I want to protect them and stop them from making choices where they can hurt themselves, but I have to step back and let them go.
A few years ago I was at the park with my friend. Her daughter is a week younger than my son so when she wanted to climb the ladder I thought she would need help. I couldn’t get to her fast enough and when I did get to the bottom of the ladder to help her she had already climbed up by herself. It was then that I realized how much I had put limits on my son. I assumed he was too small to climb, but really he was big enough. It was me, I was the one holding him back from climbing.
What I learned
A story about something that really has no natural consequences. Except that if I always help him he will never learn to do it on his own. There are so many situations where we as parents need to step back and let our kids try it on their own before jumping in and saving the day. It is probably one of the hardest things I know I have had to start doing. And I didn’t even realize how early it starts, that you have to start letting go.
Parenting is much harder than it looks. When I thought about being a parent I thought of all the fun things I would do with my kids and never thought about the work and heartache that goes into parenting.