When Our Kids Need a Push

I’d like to think I know when my kids need a push…or maybe a shove. And I’d like to believe I give them that push, in the right direction, for the right reasons. But I think sometimes I may be disillusioned. I had this epiphany after meeting Ginny Owens a couple weeks ago at a women’s conference where she shared a story. But first, let me introduce you to Ginny.

Ginny Owens  lost her sight when she was three years old. At the age of four, she started taking piano lessons. Today she is an award-winning Christian singer-songwriter who has sold over 1 million records.

Her story is simple, really, a rite of passage all girls go through. Nearing the teen years, Ginny couldn’t wait to start wearing make-up. A beauty consultant taught her how to apply foundation, eye shadow, blush, and lip gloss, and how to count strokes so she would know she applied the correct amount of color. But after a few days, Ginny decided her new beauty routine was too complicated. She told her mom she wasn’t going to wear make-up.

Ginny’s mom could have said, “You’re right. This isn’t easy. You don’t have to do it.” Or she could have said, “Let me do it for you.” After all, let’s be real here. We’re talking about make-up…not something vitally important, right?

But here’s the plot twist. Instead of giving Ginny permission to quit, her mother said something like this: You are going to put on make-up…because if you don’t, people will think you can’t.

Wow. Mom Wisdom 101. As I marveled at her mother’s words, I thought about my own responses when my girls faced challenging situations.

Instead of telling my girls you are you will you can, I wonder how many times I said you don’t have to. Or worse, let me do it for you.

Ginny’s mom looked past her daughter’s frustration, and beyond the challenge, because she recognized what Ginny needed most…and it wasn’t a beauty routine.

And maybe it wasn’t only about what other people would think Ginny could not do. Maybe it was also about what Ginny believed she could do.

I want to believe I’ve equipped my girls to battle through their challenges, that I’ve taught them to believe in what they can do. But I’m certain sometimes my good-intentioned momma heart interfered and disarmed them, so they could avoid the battle. Because what if it is too hard? Because what if they don’t win? And sometimes it feels much easier, much safer, to protect my girls rather than to push them.

But then…if I don’t let my girls fail, how will they learn to try and try again? How can they experience the reward in not giving up? How will they avoid a mid-life crisis at 25 if they don’t learn to handle frustration and disappointment and failure now?

It starts with the little things, like Ginny’s make-up. Because learning the small lessons leads to learning the big lessons. For kids. And for moms.

Share a time you or your child overcame a challenge you could have given up on. Do you remember a time you failed but gained something from the failure?


Win an autographed CD of Ginny’s newest album, Love Be the Loudest! Enter your email to follow The MOM Journey and be entered in the drawing. The winner will be announced next week. Check out this video!


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