In this week’s parenting course we were reminded that we gradually need to let our children go and we considered symptoms of unhealthy control. We can micro-manage our children’s live which is aptly described as ‘helicopter parenting’ where we hover over every aspect of their lives and don’t allow them to learn to think for themselves. I find it hard to let go and each day as my nine-year old son cycles off independently to school I remind him to concentrate, cycle slowly and look out for cars as they don’t always look out for bikes. It is hard but I am learning to let go and he is learning to be independent.
We can be over-competitive for our children, pushing and applying pressure to achieve what we think (or what we think the neighbours think) they should be achieving.We can over-schedule our children’s lives fearing that they will be left behind. We seem to be over aspirational for our children and concerned they will be under-simulated. Actually if they are given the time and the luxury to become bored they become very creative in their play – creativity that is hard to teach at endless music, gym, ballet and football lessons.
Lastly we need to allow children to take increasing responsiblity for themselves and not rescue them or they won’t have the opportunity to learn from mistakes and make better choices next time. My friends thought I was harsh not to leap back into the car to fetch Ella’s favourite teddy which she needed to cuddle at night. I felt that she was old enough to remember the teddy and we both knew it was safe at her friend’s house and would be collected the next day. I felt for her pain and it hurt me but her older siblings each lent her a favourite toy, I cuddled her and listened to her sorrow and shared her sadness and she is learning from a safe experience like this to be more independent and responsible.
We need to teach our children to make choices now so one day they can make big decisions wisely.
If you want to know more about The Parenting Course, click on this link to read my initial post about the course. Here is a link to the Holy Trinity Brompton website which has a video about the course www.relationshipcentral.org.