A gardening analogy for parenting:
In the spring I start preparing for the garden. Seeds are purchased and the ground is tilled to have the best possible atmosphere for growth. When the weather is right, seeds are planted in the warm soil and watered well to begin germination. As the tender little plants start to poke out of the ground, weeds are regularly banished from every inch of the garden. Nothing I haven’t planted is allowed to develop or impede my young plants growth.
As the plants mature though, a few things change. In their maturity the plants start to expand, spreading out and taking up more space. Although I guide them and support them, I cannot control their growth. As I learn what the plants need, I will try to meet that need, more water, more fertilizer, whatever I have control over. Lastly, as the plants grow in strength, every weed is not a threat. The root area of each plant is cared for and weeded carefully. Yet, since the plants are no longer going to be choked just because there is a weed in the area, I no longer completely protect the plants from other wild plants.
GROW AND MATURE
WE MUST GUIDE AND SUPPORT,
WHILE GIVING THEM WHAT THEY NEED. START
OUT SHELTERING AND PREPARING. GIVE EACH CHILD
THE OPPORTUNITY TO GROW STRONG ROOTS THAT WILL SUPPORT
HIM AS HE FACES THE WORLD AND BEGINS TO BEAR FRUIT.THEN ALLOW THE
MATURE CHILD TO SPREAD OUT AND EXPERIENCE LIFE WHILE YOU CONTROL THEIR
CIRCUMSTANCES LESS, YET TEND CAREFULLY TO HEARTS THROUGH CONVERSATION.