It’s easy to be one of those helicopter parents and just as easy to be a parent that does nothing yet only reacts if needed. What isn’t easy is to know when to prevent something from happening, when to let them try something new without help, or when and how much to back off or be involved. Having four kids that are so different has made this a constant experience for me. Most recently, it is my five year old that surprised me.
Our oldest started an Anime Club and at one of their meetings they made plushies; or should I say “we” because my son didn’t know how to hand stitch yet and neither did one of the other teens, so I hung out and helped. In the meantime, my two youngest kids were annoying each other in the other room, as siblings can do, and it didn’t sound like they were reaching any sort of conclusion on their own. To prevent an escalating argument from getting worse, I asked our youngest if she wanted to join us to make a plushie too. Now that she saw what the teens were making, she was interested. I cut the rice ball pattern out of the purple felt she chose and started to show her how to sew it.
She decided that not only did she want to learn how to do it, she was going to do it alone, with no help. I had this very sharp needle in my hand and I had a split decision to make. Should I hover over her and make sure she didn’t poke herself or do I let her do it? In that second, I had to ignore my past experiences with her older brothers as well as my own fears of her getting hurt and take into account what HER abilities and desires were. She helped me decide pretty quickly because she grabbed it out of my hand! I let her have it and watched in amazement while she hand sewed the entire thing without poking herself once and handed it to me to tie it off for her.
Had I stopped her and told her she wasn’t ready with verbal and nonverbal cues, like insisting she watch as I sewed it or by hovering too much, I could have held her back from what she was ready to do. Things like this aren’t dictated by age and my kids are always reminding me of that!
Has anyone else experienced moments like this?
As a Parent Coach and Mentor, my passion lies in empowering parents to make the best decisions they can for their children and their families as a whole. As a well-trained coach, I can be your facilitator and accountability partner for long-lasting, meaningful change that has a permanent, positive impact for your family. By focusing on the values that you hold most important in your life, I can help you create and maintain the type of parenting relationship you want to have with your children, now and into their adulthood.
I am a homeschooling mom of four children in Massachusetts. I am also the author of a book called The Herbal Beverage Book, which can be found on amazon or directly on my website. When not coaching, writing or spending time with the family, I enjoy Hayao Miyazaki films, new and classic Dr. Who episodes, anything related to American history and a great glass of mead.
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This blog is a collection of thoughts, articles and perspectives I have at any one time. While I am pretty consistent in my beliefs, life changes and evolves along with experiences. You may feel a connection with me through my writing yet I never want any of my readers to misunderstand that the connection you feel is with a perspective I have shared and not me as a person. I am continually humbled that I am able to connect with my readers, and I hope to continue to be able to for many years to come, but it doesn't make us connected in any way beyond this. If you connect with what I write and know me as an acquaintance, this in no way reflects that I have any knowledge of you, your situation in life or that I am writing with you in mind. It is merely that I have shared a human experience that most likely very many others have had has well. This also goes for anything I post on my Twitter account, Facebook Page and Facebook personal page. I wanted to make this disclaimer as clear as possible so you know that any misunderstanding you choose to have is not my responsibility.