Do the hard things…

Do the hard things…


This is something I’ve been telling my kids.  I want them to know how to do hard things in life.  I want them to know the whys… the hows… the whens… the whats… the wheres of doing hard things.


Know what I realized anew?!  Intentional parenting is hard work.  It is doing hard things.  I’m sure, at this point in this post, my parents are shaking their heads at me wondering why I’m just now getting this after 13 years….


I’m not just getting it now.  I’m just realizing it anew watching other another set of intentional parents doing a hard thing….


I’ve been following Abby Sunderland’s blog for several months.  Abby is the California teen who set out to do something hard… she set out to sail solo around the globe.  At sixteen she has shown more maturity and moxie than many adults I know.  She stuck with her goal of doing something hard even after having to pull into South Africa for equipment failure.   She stuck with her goal even after she learned that someone else would get the world’s record…. She stuck with her goal and did the hard thing and started out again from Port Au Prince.  She stuck with her goal until the end… after 30 ft waves (that thinking about make me sea sick sitting here in my house) broke her boat, she did the wise thing and activated her emergency beacons.  She did the hard thing by holding on until help arrived.  I’ve seen her in action before the media and I’m guessing she will do the hard thing by meeting the media, yet again, with a smile on her face and a tone of politeness and grace in her voice as they ask many, many hard questions.


I’ve also been reading Abby’s parents’ comments.  I don’t know these people.  I won’t stand in judgment of their decisions in rearing Abby and her brother Zac (who circumvented the globe a few years ago on a solo sailing mission).  Instead, I see parents who are doing hard things.  I see parents who have chosen to parent intentionally.  I see parents who have reared their children to do hard things.  I also see parents who are being ridiculed and judged for their decision to allow Abby to do hard things.  I see parents who are now answering the hard, hard questions by the media.


It doesn’t matter if I agree with the Sunderland’s decision to allow Abby to solo sail the world at 16.  It doesn’t matter because I am not responsible for Abby or for the Sunderland’s decision.  


I am only responsible for my decisions concerning my children.  


I want to parent intentionally.  I want to raise my children to do hard things.


Why?…. because life is full of hard things and adventure comes to those who do hard things.

3 thoughts on “Do the hard things…

  1. I am not sure that we, as parents, ever figure this out. Glad you are aware of the need to keep from bailing your kids out of life's hard lessons. It is tough to sit and watch them learn. Don't ask me how I know that. 🙂

  2. Heidi,I'm having a hard time with our results of "intentional parenting". It's what we set out to do, as adoptive parents.But look at our 3-weeks-from-today-away-from-18-year-old. He's made some decisions that will negatively effect the rest of his life. No matter how hard we try to ensure that he'll have what he needs when he flies the coop in July, the fact of the matter is, we can't bail him out of the disaster he's getting himself into. Granted, we've only had a little over two years to try to prepare him… But it's tough, none-the-less. In fact, my heart aches for him. All we can do, at this point, is pray. Maybe that's all we should do.Thanks for making me think.Hugs,~S

  3. I was following her blog too. I am so thankful that so far, it seems that my children aren't "driven" children. . .kind of like Miley Cyrus. . .because I think it would be extremely difficult to parent those children well, without breaking who they are supposed to be. . .not that Miley has made all the greatest choices, but still. . .I am very happy with my relatively normal children!, who don't know how to sail around the world!

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