January 27, 2013 in Parenting
“I’m glad you don’t listen to me.”
Yes, I really said that, and believe it or not, I meant it.
(Feel free to sympathize with my poor husband who had to figure out what I meant.)
If I had my way, my kids would be very safe. We would have sedate hobbies like reading, and art class; nobody would swim in water over their head until they passed the level 3 swim course, and all motorized vehicles would be off limits.
Doesn’t that sound boring? I don’t really want my kids to live that life, but in the moment, when the kids are looking at me with slightly impish faces and asking “can I …?” I have a hard time seeing the big picture. All I can see is the potential for disaster.
Paint can spill, motorized vehicles can crash, and pocket knives can cut. Do I really want to intentionally open the opportunity for pain, mess, or failure?
My answer should be “yes.”
Yes, I want you to learn to drive a boat, or handle power tools, or feel comfortable with heights. Yes, I want you to know that you are capable of anything you set your mind to. Yes, you can try things that you have never done before.
My answer is too often “no.”
No, I don’t think you are capable, and no, I don’t want to teach it to you. Ick – that sounds awful. I don’t like that I think that way.
Thank goodness for my husband.
He always makes time to show them how to do those scary things. He is able to see that they are capable of more than I give them credit for, and he knows to gently encourage me to just walk away and let them try. He allows them to have adventures and learn new things. I am so glad that he believes in them.
To tell the truth, I like to get my way and I think I am right most of the time, but I would be a really lousy single parent. I love my kids, so it is good for them that I have someone to remind me that they need to be a little unsafe at times.
So, for the record, I am glad my husband disagrees me and allows our kids to venture out of my comfort zone. He is usually right (even when I don’t want to admit it).
I still reserve the right to disagree with him about table manners, however.