A week or so back I wrote about how I hope my kids fail and I regularly pray they do, so we can work through perfectionism, mistakes, grace, etc. You can read that post here.
I got a lot of wonderful feedback from parents on the topic. Some in agreement with me, sharing their own fears of letting their kids make mistakes or concerns that our society doesn't encouraging failure.
But, I had another group of parents reach out to me, too. This group offered the opposite perspective. These were parents of kids who never seem to get a break. The kids who struggle every day in school, activities, and with friends.
They shared heartbreaking stories of struggle and failure and praying their kids will get a "win," just one success to boost their heart and make them feel good about themselves.
I was humbled by their stories and honored they felt safe enough to share them with me. I was reminded that the camaraderie, the safety of sharing of different perspectives, and the encouragement - essentially the COMMUNITY - we were experiencing is exactly why I started this website and blog. I believe we are all doing the best jobs we can and we can learn a lot from one another.
So, I asked one of the moms if she'd be willing to let me share her story. I believe there's a whole group of parents out there who maybe didn't relate as closely to my previous post, but who WILL relate to this one and her story.
And from the bottom of my heart, thank you.
Thanks for being a community who cares deeply about each other and our kids. Thank you for trusting me with your hearts and stories and please pass this along to all parents who might find their own experience in the one below.
The Other Side of the Story: I Hope My Kids Succeed
"I pray for much different things for my boys. I would love to say I pray for failure, but in turn, I pray for successes. They have had so many trials and try so hard that all I am begging God for is success!
My middle son struggled his first few years of school/sports and that, in turn, has left him in the dust. Why are so many people so judgmental about a 5 or 7 year-old then and an 11 year-old now? Although he is extremely talented in math and developing into a great athlete, no one gives him a chance.
We live in a very cruel world and being a cheerleader day-after-day takes its toll on mom and dad. After three nights of being bullied on the bus this week, I only slept a few hours last night preparing to go to the principal's office this morning to address the situation - people attacking my son, bringing him to the point of tears.
Once they make him cry, it only gets worse. What is wrong with kids these days? Where are the parents in raising respectable, upstanding children?
I am trying my hardest to give "grace" and have listened to my pastor week after week and feel like he is talking only to me in a sea of thousands. But, I can't give grace today and it makes me sad. I will not sit back quietly and watch people destroy the person that my son is.
My son is afraid. His little brother is also afraid.
My older stepson lived with us for three years & one year ago this month struggled with depression and anxiety to the point of attempting suicide in our home at the age of 14. He spent nine months in an inpatient psych facility to only regress and we no longer have much contact with him.
I fear a repeat with my middle son. He is very angry at his older brother for abandoning him when he needs a big brother.
We did not realize how much having our oldest son in our home affected our middle son. My middle son does not want to feel like his older brother and is afraid he will become him because they are brothers.
My middle son has ADHD with extreme anxiety. His coping habit in 3rd grade was pulling his hair out during exams. In 4th grade he began picking at his fingers to the point of bleeding. He is on more anxiety medication than most adults. Again, how do we as parents protect and keep them safe as they grow, but allow them to become who they are?!
I pray he finds peace and himself and is able to succeed. I pray that I am doing the right things as a mom. I pray that other kids don't have to feel like my son has felt for over two years. He tries so hard to be himself and "fit in" and yet receives very little grace.
Our outside appearance takes lots of work most days. We have rough evenings working on self-esteem & personal growth. My son is a brilliant young man and has so much to offer and someday he will have a group of friends that love to have him around.
But for now, we repair his heart and protect his vulnerabilities. We are trying to keep God close and helping my son to know God will protect him and help with his future.
He has so much to offer this world and, as his parents, we will ensure that he stays true to himself and guide him the best we know how."