My palms are sweaty and my knees are weak. The butterflies had taken over my belly as I got up in front of the classroom to deliver my speech. The subject was “Delta Pride” – why was I proud to live in this region.

I was a wreck.

My shaky hands held my notecards as I gave my well-prepared speech. And honestly, I can’t even tell you what I said or what my speech was about.

But I won.

My teacher told me later a few weeks later that mine was the best speech in the seventh grade and I’ve been chosen to speak in front of the entire school.

I felt sick even thinking about it.

I’m surprised I didn’t faint right then and there. I told her thank you but there was no way I would be able to stand in front of the whole school and give my speech.

Do I regret my decision today?

Absolutely not. I learned two things from this experience.

  1. I could do anything that I put my mind to even give a speech.
  2. It’s okay to say no sometimes.

The fact that I would’ve lost sleep for a week leading up to giving the speech and I probably would’ve got sick just wasn’t worth it for the experience that I would have. I don’t think I would’ve learned anything from that. I learned those skills much later but I did learn. Now I give presentations and even I speak in front of hundreds of people. I just needed to be able to do it in my own time.

We need to be able to give that kind of grace and space to our kids.

Yes, sometimes they need encouragement and a little push but they also need to decide on their own. As parents, we need to know our kids well enough to know what’s the right way to help – push or do nothing. It’s not easy but really parenting isn’t easy.

So, how do you know its time to push or not?

  1. Ask yourself if moving forward with the decision will teach your child a lesson or give them skills they can’t learn elsewhere.
  2. Ask yourself if the benefits of moving forward outweigh the stress it will cause your child.

There are many ways to consider this but these are just a few I recommend thinking about. I would love to hear your thoughts.


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