An avid gardener saw a small butterfly laying 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 and 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 and antennae started to come out ever so slowly.

The man’s excitement knew no bounds. He got his magnifying glasses and sat to watch the life and body of a pupa coming out. He saw the struggle of the tender pupa and couldn’t resist his urge to help. He got tender forceps to help the egg break. And lo! The pupa was out and the man was ecstatic! He waited now each day for the pupa to grow and fly about like a beautiful butterfly, but alas that never happened. The pupa had an oversized head and kept crawling along in the pot for the full 4 weeks and died!

Depressed, the man went to his botanist friend and asked the reason. His friend told him the struggle to break out of the egg helps the larvae to send blood to its wings and the push helps the head to remain small so that the tender wings can support it through its 4-week lifecycle. In his eagerness to help, the man destroyed a beautiful life.

Struggles help all of us. That’s why a little bit of effort goes a long way to develop the strength to face life’s difficulties! As parents, we sometimes go too far trying to help and protect our kids from life’s harsh realities and disappointments. We don’t want our kids to struggle as we did, and in this process, we become overprotective and not prepare them to face life’s difficulties – “It is our job to prepare our children for the road, and not prepare the road for our children”, says Dr. Wendy Mogel, Clinical Psychologist.

Let us all be there for the child, the way the child wants us. Let us help the child, the way the child needs the help. Let us share our rich experience, but allow the child to choose the way.