I think this is how I would describe my parenting style. My son is a bruiser and is constantly jumping off of things, running until he trips himself, and being rough in general. I usually sit calmly while other parents jump up and get all tense about their children and/or my son. Some people have asked me how I manage to be so calm while my baby is being so courageous; don’t I get nervous? Yes and no. I believe that children are born with a sense of freedom–that nothing can touch them. This is why it is so easy for them to get hurt, because they aren’t aware of their own boundaries and limitations. When parents are hyper about their child getting hurt, the child feels that energy and becomes hyper themselves. My style of parenting is about taking a step back, and allowing my child to figure out his own limits. This is not to say that I do not guide him, but I will not always be there to hold his hand; I want him to discover what his limitations are, so that he can do activities safely on his own.
Tonight, we went to the summer carnival at our local YMCA where we are members. Ryder played all sorts of games, but kept coming back to the rock wall where all the big kids were climbing. He fit into the harness safely so I decided that we would give it a shot.
My two-and-a-half year old waited pretty patiently among the big kids for his turn to climb the wall. When it was his turn, I went over and helped him find places for his hands and feet. Other than the boost he got from Mr. Jesse, his belayer, my little man climbed about 10 feet up that wall: no fear. When he was getting tired, he told me so, and he was lowered down.
To say that I’m proud is an understatement. I can’t believe how determined this guy was. His strength, both mentally and physically, tells me that I can take a step back because as long as I am there to be his guide, he is going to be more than just fine.