As mothers we can sometimes be overprotective of our children and in so doing, disempower them to deal with life on their own.

I read this story a while ago, and felt compelled to share it with this group.

This tale contains a wise message. The original author is unknown.

A man found a cocoon of an Emperor Moth. He took it home so that he could watch it come out of the cocoon. One day a small opening appeared, he sat and watched the moth for several hours as it struggled to force its body through the little hole. After a while, it seemed to stop making any progress, it appeared that it had gotten as far as it could and couldn’t go any further. It just seemed to be stuck.

The man, in his kindness, decided to help the moth. With a pair of scissors he snipped off the remaining bit of the cocoon. The moth then emerged with ease. It had a swollen body and small, shriveled wings. The man continued to watch the moth because he expected that at any moment, it’s wings would enlarge and expand to be able to support the bloated body, which he was sure would contract soon. Neither happened! In fact the little moth spent the rest of its life crawling around with a swollen body and shriveled wings. It was never able to fly.

What the man in his kindness and haste had not understood was that the restricting cocoon and the struggle required for the moth to get through the tiny opening was nature’s way of forcing fluid from the moth’s body into its wings so that it would be ready for flight once it achieved freedom from the cocoon. Freedom and flight would only come after the struggle. Depriving the moth of this struggle, the man unwittingly deprived it of health and its natural body.

Struggles are essential in life. If we go through our life without overcoming obstacles, we become stuck in the comfort zone and slowly die having never truly lived.

As parents, we often want to protect our children from struggles, but in so doing, we may be depriving them of a sense of accomplishment and the opportunity to grow.

If they don’t have setbacks and failures they have nothing to compare the good times to.  We may inadvertently cripple them emotionally and leave them fearing life and it’s challenges.

It is an important step in a child’s development to experience and learn from his/her breakdowns, because then they are able to celebrate when they achieve a breakthrough. It is up to us to help our kids develop to be physically, emotionally and mentally as strong as they can be.

Do you know any other stories to help explain the struggles of life? Share with us below.

Image source Shutterstock.

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  • I am proud of how my kids have grown up to be kind and independant adults. I know this is because they were allowed to battle through some tough situations but they always knew that they were loved and supported.


  • It is extremely hard to see your kids struggle. Even now, when they’re adults and out in the big wide working world, it’s still hard. If struggle = growrh though, then I’ve grown beyond belief


  • I agree with letting them learn through their struggles but as parents, it is very tempting to help them so they don’t have to struggle like we did. Just letting them know we are here if they need us is probably the best we should do


  • My son has endured many struggles in life as a child with Aspergers. But with love and support, he has blossomed into an amazing young adult. He’s resilient, he’s taken the hits from adults, peers, and family, and he continues to amaze and surprise me. We push him to handle things himself and only step in when we feel we have to. It’s amazing what people can achieve when a little faith is shown in their ability.


  • So true ! Struggles make us stronger and shape our characters and because of the struggles we can better relate to people who’re going through hard times and reach out.


  • How true it is re struggles, thanks for sharing.


  • Every generation has to learn by their own mistakes – wish it wasn’t so, but it seems to be the norm.


  • It can be hard to step back and let our children make mistakes and flounder. I guess the real thing to remember is to be there side by side with them to guide and help them as they learn and figure things out on their own.


  • Lovely story, even if a little sad. But it surely explains very clearly what our role as parents is.

    • Yes. It really shows how we can have the best intentions, but our actions may lead to negative consequences. thanks for commenting.


  • Resilience is the best characteristic to develop.


  • Wow, great story. It’s great reminder for a mum like me who always worries about my kids struggles and wants to step in. I need to let them learn to deal with little challenges.

    • You are correct. It’s important to let go and let life teach us.


  • Love the story,we all must struggle at some stage to get through!


  • So true ! I always say struggles strengthen our muscles, like a little child needs to learn walking by falling and standing up.

    • Watching our kids experience a sense of satisfaction from their own achievement is the best gift for that individual and parent. Like you said, we all know how excited everyone is when a child learns to walk by himself.


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