Lessons From “The Kissing Hand”

The Kissing Hand is one of my favorite books to read to my new K4 friends. The storyline is about Chester raccoon getting ready to start school but he feels apprehensive and doesn’t want to go. After crying to his mama, Mrs. Raccoon, shares some wise motherly counsel. “Sometimes we all have to do things we don’t want to do,” she told him gently, “even if they seem strange and scary at first.” What insightful parenting advice from Mrs. Raccoon!

As a parent of 26 years I can honestly say it is never easy to watch your child go through difficult situations. We naturally want to intervene and make the uncomfortable situation better for our child. Sometimes we go to any measure to save our child from the struggle. But it is through the struggle, that growth and maturity occurs. Rather than trying to shield your child from the uncomfortable, teach them how to face the situation. Hopefully your child will learn and grow as a result. The following are some thoughts for parents in guiding your child through life’s uncomfortable “bumps.”

  1. A parent can’t always fix the problem. The struggle is ultimately part of their story that will make them more like Jesus. If you are always trying to rescue them, you are robbing your child of that maturing process.
  2. Remind yourself that ultimately, God is in control of your child’s life. He will use many circumstances to mold your child into the person he/she is supposed to be. 
  3. God gave your child to you but never forget, He loves them too. Rather than praying for God to take away the problem, pray with them asking for God to help them endure. 
  4. Be transparent with your child and share struggles you have had and how you navigated through them. God often allows struggles so that we can help others. Use personal experiences to help your child. 
  5. In the words of our headmaster Dr. Sligh—-“Prepare the child for the road, not the road for the child.” So often we remove obstacles or roadblocks and we want a straight, easy path for our child. But those obstacles build character. Those obstacles can cause us to fall on our knees and realize our dependence on God. Ultimately as a parent, that’s what I want for my child. 
  6. Remember that God has given us a guidebook in the Bible. As parents, it’s necessary to be committed to His direction through His Word. Another tip would be to seek Godly counsel through teachers, pastors, family, or friends who have already experienced similar struggles with their children. 

At the end of the story of The Kissing Hand, Chester went to school and had a wonderful time. Mrs. Raccoon could have made Chester’s life easier and not made him go to school. But through encouragement, love, wisdom, and a little nudge, she helped him maneuver the uneasy situation. Chester was better for it. We could all learn from that wise Mrs. Raccoon.