2 year olds

Lazy Parenting vs. Building Independence

I’m that mom, ladies and gents.

I’m the mom at the park that sits back and watches her son attempt something just a little out of reach. The mom that calmly watches her son fall down. The mom that doesn’t freak out when her son walks into something. You may think I’m lazy and that’s fine. I’m really too busy to care.

I’m too busy encouraging my son to reach just a little further so his goal isn’t out of reach. Too busy calmly encouraging my son to stand back up. Too busy encouraging my son to watch where he’s going. I’m just too busy raising an independent child that knows it’s not the end of the world if he fails the first time.

With every little bit of independence my son is given, I’ve noticed he thrives in confidence. There are times he whines at me and motions with his hands that he wants me to bring him something that he’s perfectly capable of getting himself. Even if he murmurs the most adorable “prease?” that his little toddler vocabulary can muster, he still hears “no” from mommy. I’ll admit, it’s difficult to not fold to his adorable pleading but I know that if I encourage him to stand up, take the few steps necessary to reach his momentarily coveted object, and encourage him to pick it up himself that he’ll learn a lot. He’ll learn that he’s able to do so much more than he thought a few moments earlier.

Instead of doing everything for him, like putting the cars to his Duplo train back together, I’ve taught him to do it himself. To my surprise, he’s actually started watching the things we do around the house and taught himself how to open doors, how to open a locked waterbottle, how to throw away trash when he’s done with it, and plenty of other things. He’s developed a love for learning because we’ve made it an encouraging environment for him. His love for us has reached huge heights because he knows, even if he fails at something, that his parents will encourage him to try again.

You may think I’m a lazy mom. You may wonder why I don’t rescue my son every time he falls down. You may wonder why I let him do so much on his own when I could do it much faster and better myself. But I know that I’m building his independence. I know that he’s learning to pick himself back up. I know that he’ll need this ability his entire life. I know that if he understands that each attempt he makes towards something, even if he doesn’t do it well, will help him become faster and better. I know that the lessons I teach him today will journey with him into adulthood. I know that my son has an amazing mind, strong legs and arms, and the opportunity to learn every day. And he knows that no matter what, if he fails or succeeds, that his mom will always believe in him.

So yes, I’m that mom and always will be.

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3 thoughts on “Lazy Parenting vs. Building Independence

  1. I’m with you here.
    I also keep calm and try not to run when he falls. Even if he falls and cries, I calmly offer him – did you fall? Come here, I’ll kiss you.

    I have to sit on my hands watching him struggle with his puzzle, but boy did he progress! He’s not even 2 yet, but he already puts together a puzzle marked for age 3+.

    He learned how to turn on his Thomas train and put stuff in the garbage. His language skills are amazing.

    Lately he learned to ask “mommy help timmy” when he eats cereal. After a couple of spoon-feeding sessions, I put my foot down: okay, I’ll help you with the first spoon – then Timothy shows me how he eats on his own! And he happily does.

    I think helicopter parenting is such a handicap for children…

    • That’s amazing!!! I agree, I really think helicopter parenting just stunts their growth. Kids have these wonderful brains and I love parents that encourage them to think it out and learn!

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