One of the hardest things to do as a parent…

Is knowing when to give your kids hugs, and encouragement, and words of wisdom, and when to just leave them alone.

It’s difficult to see your child suffering, whether real physical pain, or imaginary emotional pain.  It’s even more difficult to just leave them alone when they are hurting.

The true gift of parenting is being able to know one from the other.  It’s not easy.

Sometimes you just have to leave them alone – let them sleep, or cry, or watch a stupid movie.  Sometimes you just have to wait while they work through things.  Sometimes you need to mind your own damn business, not matter how hard it is to do that.

But it’s difficult to see them struggling, and the natural reaction is to hold them close, and to “fix their boo-boo”.  But at some age, they need to learn how to apply their own bandages.  At some age you need to let them.  Today, I am letting one of mine heal themselves, and it sucks.  But it’s the best thing I can do right now.

This is what they mean by “growing pains”.