Cocoons and Children

cocoons and children

When I was a child, my mother allowed me to keep a caterpillar in a shoe box, watch it make a cocoon and eventually come out. It was a great experience and I remember it well.

If you have never watched the process, I can tell you that the hardest stage is watching the butterfly struggle so hard to come out of the cocoon. It isn’t easy and it takes a long time. In fact, you might be inclined, out of the goodness of your heart, to cut open the cocoon and help the poor struggling butterfly! Don’t do it! That is a fatal act for the poor butterfly.

For most of us, it is hard to watch people struggle. We are inclined to jump in and help rescue them from the difficulty. Perhaps there is a lesson here for all of us. Just like butterflies need to struggle, so do our children. It is in trying, failing, trying again, failing and trying again that we make great achievements. History records that Thomas Edison made almost 1000 non-working light bulbs before his eventual success. When asked about his failures, Edison replied, “I didn’t fail 1000 times. The light bulb was an invention with 1000 steps.”

As you watch your child struggle with forming letters in Kindergarten, sentences in first grade and research papers in sixth grade, resist the temptation to do it for them or you may be the cause of the death of learning for them.

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