This idea is taken shamelessly from the lovely Kristina Sauerwein’s blog entry. Thinking of the things I did without letting my mum and dad know and yet I allow my 4.5 y-o darling daughter do.
I am aware that part of this is me trying to NOT be a helicopter parent or as uptight as I know I really could be. Underneath my actions is a panic merchant screaming to be let out and be a control monster over my darling instead of letting her be herself, learn things on her own and to be reassured that there will always be comfort and cuddles from her mother if it doesn’t quite work out.
1. I let her climb almost anything. OK, not power poles. DD loves climbing trees and is the most adventurous climber in her preschool. Fences, obstacles, you name it. I’m waiting for her to work out how to climb onto the roof of the house ‘cos that will be the limit of my encouragement. Yes, I supervise her. Yes, I’m taking her indoor rock climbing this weekend.
2. I let her watch television. Not such a biggie, eh? Oh yes, it is. Apparently I’m letting her in for a lifetime of obesity, lowered intelligence, poor social skills and more. (Do your own research and work out which bits I’m exaggerating or not. ) Those precious half hours of TV mean I can deal with hard, possibly dangerous things in the kitchen involving moving boiling water and hot pans, or make an urgent phone call. If I could persuade DD to watch an entire DVD, I could get in a nap on a weekend afternoon …. nah, that’s not going to happen.
3. I let her make a huge mess in the kitchen. It’s called cooking. Sometimes we get edible stuff out of it. I also let her try out things on the stovetop if I’m supervising and it’s not pans of boiling water. She had a good go at making a roux for a white sauce the other day. Sure, it was lumpy but she was working hard. Now if only she would help me more energetically to clean up the kitchen afterwards.
4. I let DD choose her own clothes with the proviso that the choices have to be season-appropriate. No bikini and hula skirt in winter. Summer dresses with a long-sleeved shirt underneath and leggings in winter sound perfectly fine to me. I don’t care who gives us funny looks, particularly if I’m having an unfashionista day.* Purple, pink, blue, green, flowers, stripes, and finished off with socks of any colour or style she wants. I don’t mind. All too soon I’ll have a child who insists on wearing whatever everyone else is wearing. Let her be herself for now.
5. I let her ride her balance bike in the house. I would have been smacked so hard if I did that as a kid but honestly, this is my house and DD is a pretty good rider. Her friends think I’m odd but happily join in. Her friends’ parents, for the most part, think I am mad. That’s OK, too.
I could go on. I should really celebrate these and the other ones I shan’t add today because it is me getting rid of my neurotic shackles. Not perfect, not even getting close, and still failing in many ways. But I’m still here.
*Unfashionista is my neologism for today. I’m *almost* an unfashionista today, but if I cover up my yellow socks with penguins on them by wearing leather boots, I’ll be OK. I think.