You Can Do It, Can I?

A life letter from mother to daughter on the role of a mother in encouraging her daughter through the pain and uncertainty in life.

Life Letters

I still resent the assertion that childhood is without a doubt the best time of a person's life. Mine wasn't. It was often painful, frustrating, scary, and unfair. In spite of all the hype, I still say that being a kid is almost as hard as being a parent. Our children need our encouragement to make it safely through the tunnel of childhood.

I remember growing tearful as I read about a young woman who ran in a long and difficult marathon. She grew increasingly weary, and it began to look to those observing her, as though she might not make it. Just before the end of the race, an older lady jumped out of the crowd, took hold of the younger woman's hand, raised their joined arms in victory, and they stumbled down the last stretch. Daughter exhausted, mother determined - and they crossed the finish line together.

I can't run your races for you, but I can cheer you on, believe in you, push and pull you a little from time to time, and see you through. To encourage doesn't mean to flatter, give undeserved and thus meaningless praise, or to manipulate you into doing what you don't want to do - even if it's best for you. To encourage means to inspire, to provide reassurance and support, and to give courage to. How can I expect you to face the world with all of its' pain and uncertainty - without regular doses of it? I believe sweetheart with all of my heart that you can do what you need to do. But I have to do my part.

Love, Mom

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APA Reference
Staff, H. (2008, October 17). You Can Do It, Can I?, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2024, July 17 from

Last Updated: July 18, 2014

Medically reviewed by Harry Croft, MD

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