African Proverb: “A child’s fingers are not scalded by a piece of hot yam which its mother puts into its palm”
MEANING: A mother often has the responsibility to teach her child some of the hard, ugly aspects of life without having the child experience them (touch and get burned). And, literally, she would not have her child hold a hot potato (a yam). But in order for the child to not get “burned” in the future, the mother must let the child see or, at least, tell the child of potentially harmful scenarios. In other words, she must place the yam in the child’s hand. A loving and protective mother can’t be overly protective if that child is going to grow into an independent, self-confident adult. Preparedness is the key.