I am by no means the perfect mom. Even though I am mentally ill I still think I’m a pretty good mom. My mental illness doesn’t seem to get in the way of day to day taking care of B and loving her to the best of my abilities.
I often wonder when I’m surrounded by other parents with their children if they’re in similar situations. Today was no different. I took B to the children’s museum in our town. It’s a place filled with wonderment and excitement where you can explore and learn and grow in a totally safe environment.
There is one room dedicated to kids under the age of three. There’s a locked gate and B can run around in total safety. I’m amazed at how other people take care of their children in similar situations. Despite my anxiety and sometimes panic attacks I sit down on the bench and let B explore and run around, sliding down the slide playing, pretending with toys, playing games, acting out stories in the little houses. Total freedom. I try not to sMOTHER. You know, the mom who is all over her kid so much so that said child can’t breathe. Well that’s not me.
Apparently, not all parenting is the same. I’m not an expert in child development. However, I think I’ve learned a few things about raising a child along the way.
Kids are pretty resilient. They’re not gonna break if they fall down and get a scrape or a bump. I’d like to give some of those other parents that hover over their children a little advice. Hello helicopter parenting! Little Johnny can move without mom or dad coaxing, coddling or just plain forcing their child to play with something specific next. Let your kid be a kid!
Kids learn by playing. Kids learn rules. Kids learn right from wrong and how to interact with their peers. Kids learn what feels good and what feels bad physically and emotionally from play. Kids learn about cause and effect, both in a game as well as in a relationship, through play. If you stand over your child and only let them interact with you your child really isn’t playing.
Don’t suffocate your kids! I give B room to explore the world on her own. I’m not saying my way is the best way; it works for us. I have, however, gotten many comments from teachers, strangers, even B’s doctor that she is a confident and self-assured child which isn’t typical for such a young toddler. I want that for B. I want her to be confident in herself but also know that I am there to pick her up and love on her. I think it’s about finding a balance. It’s working so far for us. 🙂
So please excuse my parenting rant. I just want other moms and dads to have trust and confidence in their own kids. Your child can climb those stairs, slide down the slide, build with blocks, run and laugh and climb all because of the love and caring you’ve poured into them. Now just let them spread their wings so they can soar on their own.