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Parenting: Releasing The Chokehold

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Some parents never have a problem allowing their children to go places or do things independent of them. It’s easier when you get used to it from the very beginning of the child’s life, such as when you are a single parent or a working parent. Then there are some of us- yes, like myself- who are stay at home parents. We’re with our children nearly 24/7, and we have been since the day they were born. If anyone has ever watched our children, it is our significant others…and sometimes we may even be hesitant the first few times with them.

5330849194_c3a4ef78b6_bIt’s great that we love our children enough to dedicate our lives to them. Yet we must be careful that we do not take their lives away in the process. Children need to learn and grow. They need to be taught independence, responsibility, and adaptability. There is only so much teaching we, ourselves, can give them in these situations. Many things have to be learned as we sever the figurative umbilical cord.

Am I saying you need to drop your children off with people you don’t even know? No way! Am I saying you should never think about what might arise when your children are away from you? Nope! It’s always good to guess so you can be as prepared as possible. What I am saying is that you must allow your children to take reasonable risks, and allow them to go places independent of you as they grow. This has been hard for me, myself, to do. I’m not telling you to do something I haven’t been struggling to do myself. I’m one of those 24/7 parents who can count the number of times I’ve had someone other than my husband watch my daughter… since she was born.

Since I stay home, it was senseless for us to pay a massive amount of money to put her into 5508765531_7a728ac025_bpreschool. We make too much money to get free or discounted preschool…. and besides, she is already on par with her learning. The only thing she still needs to learn is how to write her own name. She knows her letters, she knows how to spell it, but the act of writing it is a wee bit hard. So, the first step was to find her something where she could socialize with other children in a disciplined, group setting like she would find at school. We decided to enroll her in dance. The classes are 45 minutes long, and come once a week… plus, it was a reasonable price. She did awesome from the git-go. No issues whatsoever, and she loves dance, so it was a good choice for her.

2484428236_f24b761b9d_bI also babysit another little girl. This little girl is Vikki Beth’s best friend, and I know her mother very well. I trust this little girl’s mother. So, once in a while, Vikki Beth will go over to her friend’s house to play when the little girl’s mother is off of work. This was the second big step for us. This summer we will be enrolling her in a day camp of some sort, for a couple of days each week. The next step- the one that isn’t optional- is that she will start Kindergarten in the fall.

I’ll be the first to admit that I got very lucky. My daughter has no problems socializing with other children, leaving me for a few hours, or listening to her teachers. Some children are much more hesitant. But, even with hesitant children, it is important to allow them to spread their wings. Take it one baby step at a time, and they will eventually find it easier. This upcoming year my daughter has a lot planned. In addition to school, she will be continuing with dance. She will also be enrolling in Girl Scout’s and is finally old enough to start this upcoming year’s AWANA program at the church. She will be busy, but I know that she can handle it.

The point is this whole thing is this: as parents, we are often too hesitant to allow our children out of our sight. Yet this is another great life skill we need to remember to give them. Take it a little bit at a time, but slowly allow them to expand their horizons beyond yours. It is the only way to allow them the growth they so badly want and need.

If you liked this article, you should check out Children And Chores. You should also check out Childhood Friendships.

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1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. Trackback: Vikki Beth’s First Sleepover | Pen Possessed

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