Parenting means sometimes staying out of the way

I was a “don’t do this, don’t do that” kind of parent when I had FZ.

You know the type – always apologizing, always moving the kid out of the way, always meddling.

Then one day while at FZ’s class at Gymboree I got some advice from a fellow parent. Our kids were playing tug-of-war with the same toy and I was telling FZ to share, be nice, etc. etc.

The girl’s father tells me, “You know what, it’s OK. Don’t worry about it. Let them work it out on their own.”

So I did. I stepped back. And sure enough the girls moved on.

As parents, and especially first-time parents, we always sweat the small stuff. What we don’t tend to realize is that our kids feed on our frustration and become agitated or uptight. Kids of relaxed parents are more well-behaved and easygoing.

Now with Mayyo I only step in if she is about to eat something bad, hurt someone, or get in a dangerous situation.

Letting go allows our kids to have more confidence. They learn to deal with the world; they learn to fail and succeed. It’s not easy, but by standing close we let them know we are watching, while you take the first steps on your own.

By standing over them all we tell our kids is just watch while we do it for you. And I don’t know about you, but I would rather have a thriving, independent child than a clinger.

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