“Our kids need disappointment in their lives in order for them to mature.”

I heard this yesterday at a lunch meeting with Steve Farrar, Promise Keepers speaker and author. He explained that we have a tendency to spoil our kids these days, protect them against trouble, instead of letting them grow and learn, we pull them out of trouble and they avoid the lesson.

Am I guilty of this with my 4 kids? To a point, yes. I have spoiled my kids. That is an easy one. They have more than what they need. They never pay for gas or insurance or cell phone. That is, until they get married, or begin to make Cs in school. My kids have it pretty easy. They do have to work though, summers or if their semester load allows.

Pulling them out of trouble though, that is an entirely different area. Tammy and I have had all kinds of issues raising 4 kids, and there are more to come. Currently I have no married children and their ages are 14,17,20,22. I have one in middle school, one in high school, and two in college. The ones in college are pretty easy, they dig their own graves and fall into it if they screw up enough. I’m pretty much done with running the show and provide advice (gladly) when asked, but they are on their own.

I can think of instances where my kids were in deep and I failed to pull them out of it, and each time there was a major lesson learned. My older daughter plays soccer, competitive soccer. She was on a D2 local select team, and wanted to move into a D1 team. I shopped her around (you must sign a one year contract on a team) to various D1 teams and after some discussion, a very good D1 team picked her up. The coach was excited about her coming on board.

It turned into the toughest year of Rebekah’s life. The coach did not trust her so he would put her in 5 minutes per half (if she were lucky) and pull her. Anytime she did ANYTHING bad, she would get pulled,and girls that played all the time would make 10x the mistakes and play on. Rebekah was distraught. Her self confidence in her abilities went to nothing.

I kept her playing, knowing that it was the best thing to do. Did I want to pull off the coach’s head, I almost dreamed about it. Through many of her tears, I talked with Rebekah and always tried to help her see the character building that was going on, and that God would work things out.

I felt so sorry for her. She would hydrate before the games, then have to pee so much because she didn’t play. I had known many parents that simply pulled their daughter from the team (and failed to finish paying their dues) when similar events happened to their daughter. I kept her in the entire year.

In the end, there was a major lesson learned. She ended up going to a better team the next year, a D1 team, and a team that was a year older. She finished playing with them until she played in college. She quickly became a starter and played as much as she could in the games.  She learned more life lessons that tough year than if I had pulled her from the team. It was tough for Tam and I. Very tough.  I believe my daughter is a better person after having gone through that.