January 23, 2011

Parenting. And the fine line between hovering and teaching.

I let my {older} kids pick out their own clothing every day
Except when we are going somewhere special

I also let them brush their teeth
And style their hair the way they want

I don't mind when my kids want to decorate their room the way they choose

I allow my children to watch television
And play on the computer

And I have even let them use the word "friggin" without saying anything about manners and appropriate-ness.

I say it is OK when my kids want to participate in an activity that might be considered dangerous

I let them get hurt
And comfort them when they do

I let my children eat junk food

I don't care when they tell me they have girlfriends.
Even though I think I am the only girlfriend they should have.

I do not allow my children to see my fears...out of fear that they might fear something because Mommy does

I don't mind if they go away for a week to spend time with family members
Because I feel it is important for them to create meaningful relationships with other {loving} adults away from their parents.

I love it when my kids have hobbies that they choose...and love.

I allow my children to make their own decisions
And I also allow them to deal with the consequences if things don't turn out the way they expected.

Because I want my children to grow up to be independent, respectful, well mannered human beings who aren't afraid to make their own decisions.

And thrive when there are problems to solve and goals to accomplish without looking to Mom and Dad to figure it out for them.

I also want them to appreciate that Mom and Dad let them make their own choices...even when they didn't agree..

...like when they went to school with ripped brown pants and a too small blue shirt, because they thought it looked cool.


Kara @ His, Hers and Ours said...

Good for you. I winced at a couple of these that I don't do...and it's more out of trying to protect my 10 year old daughter from the bullies and downright cruel kids at school. I need to let go more, I know...like this.

Excellent post!! And it sounds like your kids are well on their way to being awesome big people. :)

Gigi said...

Very good Momma!!!

Stephanie said...

Love it. You're SUPER-Mom. (I can't imagine why your kids would ever be mad at you...)

Jenners said...

Love this post!! And your post title. It is a fine line ... and sometimes I walk it well and sometimes I fall off. I was accused of "babying" my son when he insisted that he was ready to have shoes with shoelaces. And, damn it, he was!

Heatherlyn said...

I thought that I let my children brush their teeth on their own simply because I was lazy and didn't really want to take 10 minutes of my life in the morning AND evening to ensure that they were really getting their teeth cleaned. Now I know that it is really part of a strategy NOT to be a helicopter parent. OK, just kidding, I really DO let my kids brush on their own cuz I'm lazy (but I did did buy them the electric kind of toothbrushes that beep after two minutes so that they theoretically have to brush for at least 2 minutes).

In all seriousness, it is very good to give kids lots of options and for them to have lots of personal accountability.

Can I just vent for a sec about nothing very significant, but it is related? There was a mother whose daughter is a picky eater. Said daughter is about 9 years-old. She won't let her daughter get a hot lunch at the school because she is afraid that she wouldn't like it and would then not eat it and not have a lunch. Hello, the child would live! The world would NOT end if she refused to eat her lunch out of pickiness for ONE day. OK, I feel much better now having said that.

I do NOT do my kids' homework for them. I did my own homework for many years growing up. I have no desire to do it 5 times over. I don't even like it when my kids ask me for help with their homework, although I will help them with legitimate questions. And I DO do timed readings with my daughter and flash cards with my kindergartener.

My dream is that my kids will grow up to be productive, helpful adults who have their own life and that they will take 100% responsibility for said life. Such a dream begins with how much I allow them to take responsibility for their lives right now. :)