She recounts her own childhood experiences of not always meeting expectations and facing consequences.
Parents nurture their children with unconditional love. There is no doubt they will protect them from everything harmful that might come their way. However, while trying to give their children everything, parents subconsciously rob them of life experiences that can be crucial in building them up. Actor Reese Witherspoon shares the power of letting one’s kids struggle on the "Good Inside" podcast with parenting coach, psychologist and mom Dr. Becky Kennedy. Sharing a glimpse of the same on Instagram, the actor is talking about why children need to know what struggle feels like. Both the moms had a hearty discussion, bringing to light the realistic need to let children fail or realize their struggles.
Witherspoon, who is mother to three children, Ava Elizabeth Phillippe, Deacon Reese Phillippe and Tennessee James Toth, said, “I don’t know when we stopped letting our kids fail.” She elaborated by sharing her example of the failure and struggle she faced as a child. “I learned so much from the paper I didn’t turn in or the demerits I got. I was suspended from school in the 5th grade for talking in class, being disruptive and passing creative notes to my friends in class.”
The mom then revealed that her parents didn’t try to hide her from those realities but let her face them. “My parents didn’t say, ‘She didn’t deserve that’ and take me out of school.” Witherspoon added that her parents let her “sit in” the failures and trials she went through and “feel uncomfortable.”
She described failure as a “valuable tool” and learning from it is something one cannot take away from kids. “You rob them if you don’t let them sit in the discomfort of the experience,” the mom said. Adding her insight, Dr. Becky said, “Kids get successful by lengthening the amount of time they tolerate struggling.” Rightly so, kids need to learn from their experiences. Parents are undoubtedly meant to protect their kids, but not so much that they are shadowed from the world at all times because there needs to be a healthy balance. Protecting them comes second to being present for them when they need certain life lessons. In her caption, Dr. Becky weighed in on why it’s important to let kids struggle.
She said, “Resilience is our ability to get through the hard things that come our way - instead of collapsing in a meltdown, avoiding taking on challenges, or expecting others to make things better for us.” She further remarked that success and good behavior require resilience. Adding more, the parenting coach said, “And maybe the most inconvenient part? Resilience is built in moments of struggle.”
She concluded her post by explaining that parents need to let their kids struggle without “jumping in” or “saving the day.” Dr. Becky often shares parenting tips and highlights other truths that parenting involves. Right from communicating with kids to understanding their behaviors and more, the mom-parent coach has much insight to share with parents. The video received thousands of likes and serves as a wake-up call to parents who are constantly shielding their children.
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