Mom Confessions

Anonymous
Don't help my child...
by Anonymous
January 20, 2013 at 3:03 PM

A blog post I found interesting and very contrary to what I've seen most cmers say:

 

Kate Bassford Baker author

Please Don't Help My Kids

 

Dear Other Parents At The Park:

Please do not lift my daughters to the top of the ladder, especially after you've just heard me tell them I wasn't going to do it for them and encourage them to try it themselves.

I am not sitting here, 15 whole feet away from my kids, because I am too lazy to get up. I am sitting here because I didn't bring them to the park so they could learn how to manipulate others into doing the hard work for them. I brought them here so they could learn to do it themselves.

They're not here to be at the top of the ladder; they are here to learn to climb. If they can't do it on their own, they will survive the disappointment. What's more, they will have a goal and the incentive to work to achieve it.

In the meantime, they can use the stairs. I want them to tire of their own limitations and decide to push past them and put in the effort to make that happen without any help from me.

It is not my job - and it is certainly not yours - to prevent my children from feeling frustration, fear, or discomfort. If I do, I have robbed them of the opportunity to learn that those things are not the end of the world, and can be overcome or used to their advantage.

If they get stuck, it is not my job to save them immediately. If I do, I have robbed them of the opportunity to learn to calm themselves, assess their situation, and try to problem solve their own way out of it.

It is not my job to keep them from falling. If I do, I have robbed them of the opportunity to learn that falling is possible but worth the risk, and that they can, in fact, get up again.

I don't want my daughters to learn that they can't overcome obstacles without help. I don't want them to learn that they can reach great heights without effort. I don't want them to learn that they are entitled to the reward without having to push through whatever it is that's holding them back and *earn* it.

Because - and this might come as a surprise to you - none of those things are true. And if I let them think for one moment that they are, I have failed them as a mother.

I want my girls to know the exhilaration of overcoming fear and doubt and achieving a hard-won success. 

I want them to believe in their own abilities and be confident and determined in their actions. 

I want them to accept their limitations until they can figure out a way past them on their own significant power.

 I want them to feel capable of making their own decisions, developing their own skills, taking their own risks, and coping with their own feelings.

I want them to climb that ladder without any help, however well-intentioned, from you.

Because they can. I know it. And if I give them a little space, they will soon know it, too.

So I'll thank you to stand back and let me do my job, here, which consists mostly of resisting the very same impulses you are indulging, and biting my tongue when I want to yell, "BE CAREFUL," and choosing, deliberately, painfully, repeatedly, to stand back instead of rush forward.

Because, as they grow up, the ladders will only get taller, and scarier, and much more difficult to climb. And I don't know about you, but I'd rather help them learn the skills they'll need to navigate them now, while a misstep means a bumped head or scraped knee that can be healed with a kiss, while the most difficult of hills can be conquered by chanting, "I think I can, I think I can", and while those 15 whole feet between us still feels, to them, like I'm much too far away

 

 

Replies

  • Anonymous
    by Anonymous
    January 20, 2013 at 3:06 PM

    I agree.

    Plus, strangers have no business touching my kids.

  • Anonymous
    by Anonymous
    January 20, 2013 at 3:07 PM

     didn't read the whole thing but maybe that mom didn't hear her say she wasn't helping, since she was busy with her own kids.

    And if your kid is still learning your not right there. I let my kids do it themselves too, but im right there with my hands under them incase they fall

  • mommy_me
    January 20, 2013 at 3:08 PM

     Hmm very interesting

  • Anonymous
    by Anonymous
    January 20, 2013 at 3:09 PM

    Why? Why not let them fall? Falling off of the playground isn't the worst thing in the world. If you read the entire thing, you would have gotten to that paragraph...lol

    Quoting Anonymous:

     didn't read the whole thing but maybe that mom didn't hear her say she wasn't helping, since she was busy with her own kids.

    And if your kid is still learning your not right there. I let my kids do it themselves too, but im right there with my hands under them incase they fall


  • robyann
    by robyann
    January 20, 2013 at 3:10 PM

     This is very well said! Love it! Agree 100%

  • Anonymous
    by Anonymous
    January 20, 2013 at 3:11 PM
    Well said
  • wrensong
    January 20, 2013 at 3:11 PM

    I agree. Kids have to learn to figure stuff out for themselves because someday they will be in the real world and mommy won't be there to do it for them

  • Lydlou02
    January 20, 2013 at 3:13 PM
    Hear hear!
  • Diamepphyre
    January 20, 2013 at 3:15 PM

     A-freakin'-men!!!!  Darned straight!  There's one mama who has it RIGHT!

  • aphrodite7400
    January 20, 2013 at 3:18 PM

    you dont always get up when you fall at the playground.  you can get broken bones. if u fall in a bad postion u can even hurt your neck, head, shoulders... not that somethng i would play with.  i understand her point in this, i dont sit 15 feet away, i just stand around where they are playing. 

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