The Sue Atkins Wednesday Story

Here is today’s story from my never ending notebook and everlasting coloured pencil !

The cocoon, the butterfly and leaving well alone……….coping strategies

A woman was in the habit of taking her dog for a walk twice a day in her local park. She noticed a cocoon hanging from the branch of a bush. She wondered how long it would be before the butterfly would emerge.

One day she saw that a small opening had appeared, and she watched, fascinated, for several hours as the butterfly struggled to emerge. After a while the butterfly’s progress seemed to slow down, and then movement stopped altogether. It seemed the butterfly had become worn out with the effort. So the woman decided to help.

She took a pair of nail scissors from her bag and snipped through the last part of the cocoon. The butterfly slid out easily, but she immediately saw that something was wrong.

The butterfly was misshapen. The body was too large and the wings too small.

The woman thought this would soon correct itself, but it didn’t. All the butterfly could do was crawl around with its swollen body and shrivelled wings. It never flew, and it soon died.

What this woman didn’t understand was the bigger picture. She assumed kindness, compassion and speed would improve the butterfly’s development. She didn’t understand that the restriction of the cocoon and effort required for the butterfly to emerge through the tiny aperture are nature’s way of forcing fluid from the butterfly’s body to its wings.

Only when the butterfly has gone through this process in its own time will it be ready for flight.

  • So what has this story got to say to you about your parenting?
  • How do you encourage your children to struggle with things sometimes so that they can develop their independence?
  • How do you prepare them, and allow them to emerge from your cocoon of home, naturally equipped and ready to fly your nest one day?
  • How can you stop yourself from “rescuing” your kids too much?
  • What can you change this week bearing this in mind?
  • What will it give to your children if you did?