What Our Children Really Need From Us

It’s easy to worry about so much as a parent when  what our children really need  from us boils down to the most simple act of love and compassion.  And it’s so meaningful that we desire it whether we are 4 or 94.

What Our Children Really Need From Us

We were rushing up the concrete stairs to church on Sunday  and in the 50 degree weather, my 4 year old felt that flip flops were an appropriate footwear choice…there are some choices we have to let our kids make.


But flimsy flip-flops and tiny legs aren’t the best combination on concrete steps,  so she quietly said, “Mommy, can you please hold my hand? I just don’t feel safe.”  

And as I grasped her small hand inside mine, I realized that her simple request really embodied so much of  what being a good mom really boils down to.

While we fret over every little detail,  what our children really need from us is to feel safe.  They need to know that in the midst of all the change in this world, we are their one constant.

This perspective is the  reasoning for my belief that  I SHOULD be my child’s best friend.  It’s not that I advocate encouraging your child to drink or hook up with random partners.  It’s that I believe strongly in  the philosophy my own mother showed me  growing up:

Hillary, in this mean ol ™ world, it is important for a child to know they can come home at the end of the day and know, know beyond a shadow of a doubt, that their best friend is waiting for them.  And that they will be loved and that they are not alone. 


Isn’t that what we want for our children?  To teach them and nurture them and give them wings but to always show them they are not alone.  Our hand is always there…there to hold to give them balance, strength and safety.

And when we really stop and think about it, it’s what we ALL want, regardless of our age.

It’s the mom holding her toddler’s hand as he takes those first few unsteady steps.

It’s the father walking his 5 year old into Kindergarten on the first day of school.

It’s the mom holding her daughter’s hand as she cries about the loss of her first love.

It’s the bride holding her Daddy’s hand as she walks down the aisle.

It’s the husband holding his wife’s hand as she delivers their beautiful baby.

It’s the son holding his mom’s hand as her gait becomes unsteady in old age.

And it’s the daughter holding her daddy’s hand as she tells him it’s okay to let go, okay to give in and okay to move on to the next life.

It’s all we really want – and  who better to give it to our child now than us?    Who better to teach our children that in the midst of change and growth and independence, our hand is always nearby.

Ready to hold them.  Ready to give them the balance they need.  Ready to make them feel safe.

And ready  to let go just when they feel they  can stand on their own…

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