Now that the weather is nicer and we are able to get out of the house and do things around the city I have come to the realization that while I myself am not one of these moms, they are out there. And, they even try to mow the lawn for my kids!
I’m not that parent. So please nice lady at the store don’t you be THAT mom to MY child either. I don’t find it nice or neighborly; I find it infuriating. I have tried very hard to cultivate a soil of problem solving, self motivation, and independence for my children. My kids order for themselves at restaurants, speak to the doctor when he asks questions, and have been developing strategies to handle disappointment for years!
I expect them to fail. I expect them to encounter people that make life difficult, and I expect them to occasionally get their feelings hurt. I refuse to step up or step in, until they ask for help. I believe in them, and their ability to be powerful and strong little people!
When we are out in public, I catch other moms trying to help my children. While I appreciate where their heart is at, I implore these moms to stop for minute and just watch. Yes, that IS my 8 year old at the hostess stand asking for a different pack of crayons. I’m not the one who had a problem with red and blue…why would I be the one to take care of it? Your ears don’t deceive you, that is my 10 year old telling the doctor his symptoms and how he feels… I’m not the one who is sick! Yes my daughter is standing in the long shaved ice line, and no she doesn’t need help ordering. Trust me, she’s been bossing people around for years. I do hear my son arguing with his friend about the Nerf game, but no, I’m not stepping in because they didn’t ask for help, and they will work it out soon. Or, they will just stop playing. I don’t know the rules to this made-up game, so I wouldn’t be any help.
When you come up to one of my kids and butt in to help them, you strip away their independence. You make them feel like they’ve messed up somehow or that all of a sudden they are incapable of doing what they know how to do. When you come up and try to solve their conflict you take away their ability to problem solve themselves. You show them you don’t trust them to do it on their own.
I promise I’ll catch them if they fall…. they are my babies after all! But my time with them is a short 18 years, I need them to be ready to face the world for the rest of their lives. Trust me, I’ll swoop in the moment they ask and fix/help/remind/take down anyone or anything, but more than my need to help, lies their need to know that they are capable human beings who can take care of things on their own.
Next time stand back with me and just see what they can do. It might just surprise you!