I’ll be the first to admit that my parenting style has changed a little from when we were raising our now 25 and 21-year-old children to raising Grace, our 11-year-old. Not so much in the way I discipline or expect her to follow the rules we set, but when it comes to letting her do more for herself rather than doing it for her. (Case in point, she is up before me most school mornings, making her own breakfast and getting ready without my prompts.)
I’m also a bit less overprotective than I once was. I have realized after raising two children to adulthood that hovering and pushing hard for them to do things exactly as I prefer doesn’t often work. I can lay the rules and preferences out there, and believe me I do, but “helicoptering” to make sure Grace responds just as I desire only frustrates me… and her. She will make her choices, and some will be the wrong ones.
Jason and I will be here to discipline her when necessary, love her through her mistakes, and hopefully watch her learn from them. While it’s scary thinking of the trouble she might get into or the hurt she might experience, I’ve learned that children will make some bad decisions, and my hovering and worrying won’t stop that.
We will always guide Grace in the direction we think is best, all the while realizing she is her own person with her own unique God-given personality, not a clone of her two parents combined. Exerting a little more independence with each passing year will no doubt be Grace’s way of ultimately becoming an adult who can survive and thrive in the world on her own.
I share all this as an invite for you to read this month’s feature, Stop Doing Everything For Your Kids, by Sandi Schwartz. She elaborates on the issue of “helicopter parenting” and how it can affect our kids negatively. Sandi also offers tips for setting children on a path to independence by giving them experiences, teaching them new skills and more!
If you are the parent of a toddler, you are just now starting to see how your “little angel” can fight for independence. This can show up in the form of a tantrum in the middle of the grocery store, a toy thrown across the room in anger or even a tongue stuck out right in your face. Oh, the joys! If parenting your one to three year old feels overwhelming at times, be sure to read The Toddler Instruction Manual, by Sarah Lyons. Her advice just might help you through the tough days and keep more of your focus on the sweetness of these younger years.
Keeping with our young child theme, we have included our 2022 Child Care Guide to introduce you to the available daycares, preschools and Mom’s Day Out programs in the River Region. Our feature article, How to Find a Safe, Quality Daycare tells you what to look for on the “daycare tour” and what questions to ask in the “daycare interview”, so be sure to read these tips first before choosing several daycares from our guide to visit.
Wishing you all a Happy Easter and a beautiful first full month of spring!