By Kollel Guy
Loving your children is taken by many to mean showering them with care and taking care of all their problems. This is wrong. Actually, the most valuable gift to your children is not solving all their problems. Better to give them the strength and courage to deal with issues that come their way – on their own.
A number of years ago, we were dealing with a complex medical issue of a child. Doctors needed to be arranged, tests had to be performed, and specialists had to be reached. We were overwhelmed with all the responsibilities which came with it all. At the same time a friend of mine was also facing a medical issue of a child. As we were chatting about our situations, he told me that he and his wife don’t have to make any appointments or any arrangements. His mother in law informs them when they have an appointment and they go. Sometimes he doesn’t even go along to the appointments. His wife would meet her mother in the city and meet the doctor without him.
At the time, I remember having mixed feelings about what he told me. On the one hand, having someone else do everything for you is a great relief. It would have been great to just have to care about the emotional aspect of having a child suffer and not have to be overwhelmed with all the responsibilities. But I also felt a little bad for them. His in-laws weren’t doing it out of the goodness of their hearts. They were doing it because they loved their grandchild, and didn’t trust their children to do a good enough job. In their minds, the parents are still young & inexperienced, and cannot be trusted.
That’s not love. If you love your children, teach them how to make the appointments. Stand with them as they get in touch with the doctor. Don’t go along to the appointment, but have supper waiting for them when they come back. You want to make sure they did a good job – get the other kids cared for so they can focus on doing their best.