Don’t Steal the Struggle

It is wicked easy to just jump in and do it for them but if you do will they ever learn?

It snowed a tiny bit here which means there are driveways to be shoveled. I used to do it all but lately, I have been having the kids join me.

Today I decided to let them do it all on their own. My 15-year-old daughter was really unhappy about it. She claimed she had no idea how and it wasn’t fair that I was asking her to do it. All my logical answers were not helping the cause. I figured stepping into the cold would cool that down pretty quick.

Our short driveway was already cleared so we headed up the street to take care of one of our neighbors. They are semi-retired and need help with this chore. I started doing it a few years ago and have kept it up winter after winter.

I started to give a few small pointers to Sam and stepped back. She was having a ton of difficulty at first. I verbally gave her a few ideas and then let the minutes tick on by. After maybe five minutes I did take the shovel to show her one more technique.

She was not exactly thrilled.

The end result was pretty good! I was impressed.

As we walked home another older gentleman leaned out his door and asked if we were done for the day. I responded yes thinking he was just making conversation not really realizing he was asking for our help. As my son explained to me what he was saying we quickly turned around and started on his drive.

Sam got more practice in with using the shovel. While she wasn’t happy I could tell something had shifted in her.

When we got home Jenn asked how it all went. I noticed Sam had this smile on her face which she quickly tried to hide by running out of the room. I could recognize it, she was proud.

I think I could have shoveled for her but what would she have learned? I let the struggle happen and greatness followed.

I know this tiny glimmer of pride in her is something I might not see for some time. Teens are hard people to live with!

7 thoughts on “Don’t Steal the Struggle

  1. From what I hear, savor those hidden grins. Better yet, remember the long game- becoming a better person! My 9 year old shows me glimpses of her teenage self and it’s a tad frightening. Lol.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I read your slice because I loved the title. What a great parenting moment for you! I believe in productive struggle even though sometimes it’s so very hard not to give in and take it away. Sam grew up a little that day. Bravo!

    Liked by 1 person

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