In the media we are exposed to all these horrible and tragic accidents happening to our children. Instead of support in a time of need, we see the parents being dragged through the mud for ‘allowing’ accidents to happen. Most of this negativity comes from other parents that should be the first to understand that accidents can and will happen. And the results of this behaviour? Parents who are afraid to trust their own parenting instincts and their children. Parents like me.
I am guilty of parenting in fear of what other people might say or think as oppose to trusting my own instincts and my own children. I am worried that a nosy neighbour might call CAS when I allow my older children to play alone in our backyard. I am worried that my picture will pop up on social media as neglecting my children because they got hurt when I allowed them to take risks and play without me at the park. I know that if authorities were called, they would find nothing wrong. I know I`m not putting my children in danger or breaking any laws.
My plan of action? Trusting my parenting skills and my children. Of course this also means using common sense. I would not allow my 1 year old to go play in the backyard by herself. She’s just not ready for that sort of freedom. But I will allow my 7 year old while because I know that she ready. Yes, my girls are going to fall down and they might even get hurt. They may even break a bone from falling off some playground equipment. It will break my heart to see my children get hurt, even if it is just a scrapped knee. But I know these experiences, the same ones that many of us had growing up, will help them to grow as an individual person.
I realize that you may or may not agree with the freedoms I give my children. As a matter of fact I will not always agree with the freedoms you choose to give you children. But I will not be the one to call authorities unnecessary or call you out publicly on social media. If I see your child taking advantage of a freedom you gave them while you are not there, I will approach you privately and let you, the parent, know. At the end of the day we know our children better than anyone else.
As a parent myself, I know I need to make some improvements. I know at the end of the day, it’s my kids who will suffer the consequences. So for now on I will trust my parenting skills and my children more then I will fear what others might think or say.