There's a light in children - maybe it's a candle

There’s a light in children – maybe it’s a candle

Read a great post the other day by one of my JJL friends, Tim Milburn.  It was all about candles…well, maybe not all.  He did a fantastic job relating it to leadership.  Read the comments, too – incorporates the Law of the Lid and everything.

Reading the post, I couldn’t help but think about how his points concerning the candle burning and leadership related to raising children as well.

Let them burn to their edge. Let’s see how far they can take things. Let’s give them a task, a project, a job and see what they can do.

As parents, it is our primary responsibility to keep our children safe and protected. A lot of times, we go a bit overboard and cut them off right before they realize greatness. Watching a child climb a tree, carry groceries, work out a difficult math problem , or struggle in anyway can make that momma or poppa bear in each of us rise up. And it should. But that doesn’t necessarily mean we should immediately come to the rescue.

Maybe they don’t need rescuing.

Maybe they need room to stretch – lift their own lid.

But what if they go to far?
Well, my candle’s in a glass jar…and it even comes with a lid. So set your boundaries.

Boundaries are a great thing. Believe it or not, your child thrives on them. Knowing how far they can go gives them freedom to move freely about the cabin. They are not hesitant to try new things, fail, or try again.

By the way, failure for children is not a bad thing. It’s a growth thing. It is hard to watch our children fail, but it is necessary that they do. It is not our job to keep them from failure – it is our job to teach them how to come back from it.

When you get to the comments, Tim has reposted some other “candle tips” from his friend in Singapore.

Never leave a candle unattended.

Like that time you figured they would be okay in the backyard. I mean, it’s your backyard – fenced and all. Then came back to the water hose induced lagoon complete with reptiles and mud mountains. Who needed a landscaper anyway?

Keep your candle away from air drafts.

Kids love box fans. They have no idea that fingers, crayons, legos, or peanut butter and jelly sandwiches do not belong in there. Even once those boundaries are set, they will still drive you bonkers after they have sung the theme song to “Sponge Bob Squarepants” into it for the eleventy billionth time because it makes their voice do that funny thing.

Burn your candles no longer than 4 hours

Naps are great. Take them with your kid…don’t feel guilty.

Candles need to breathe.

After nap, go outside. Kids find the darnedest things under rocks. In the process, you guys will have the best conversation you’ve had in a long time.

Enjoy your candles.

*Photo credit Andrea Hillis


  1. April!

    You have added so much good stuff to this candle imagery. I love it. I think this is a great metaphor for unleashing the potential in someone (especially our kids!).

    Hope we can keep the conversation going.

  2. Nice post.

  3. Tim – your candle post was great! I couldn’t help but see it as it related to children. Since I have so many, that happens a lot 🙂

    I do too!

    Creech – Thanks!

Speak Your Mind