The Right Balance
Teaching children is a delicate thing
I love my kids sometimes too much
My natural instinct is to protect
I have to teach them right and wrong
And so I give them the freedom
While I stand quietly in the background
What inspired my poem today:
We are currently teaching my girl to eat on her own. And so I have to close my eyes and ignore all the mess and worry about her not getting enough food and harden my heart when we discipline her for playing with her food or refusing to eat. (Disciplining in this case means no dessert and no playing with a toy of her choice or not having mummy play with her after dinner while she whines and pleads endlessly for me to play with her and boy can she plead!).
It is so much easier to do things for the kids ie to feed them, pick up their toys for them, button their clothes and tie their shoelaces, pick them up to carry instead of letting them dawdle. So much easier and faster. But as a mum, my duty is to guide and teach the kids how to do things on their own. This means having the patience to stand in the sidelines and watch them struggle, mess up and play while they are at it, in other words to let them do it at their own pace.
Later on when they face problems at school with teachers and with peers, as a mum I need to teach my children how to solve their own problems and to provide them with the confidence and the ability to do it. As parents we cannot solve their problems for them and protect them forever no matter how much we want to.
This reminds me, at the playground, I often have to close my eyes and let my partner handle the kids as I tend to become overprotective. I'd have palpitations watching them play and have to struggle very hard not to rush to hold their hand. I think dads are much more relaxed and better at letting go then mums. Maybe I'm wrong about this?
I have seen a few parents who love their children too much with my own eyes. Someone I know was loved too much by his parents, so much so that they never allowed him to do anything on his own. Now they are gone and his sisters are still taking care of him and teaching him how to take care of his own ailing health. He never married and he got his first job as a petrol attendant only after his parents died.
Another person I know who is a few years younger than me and the youngest child was loved too much by his parents, they shrugged away and forgave his laziness and tardiness in school and as a result he did not do as well as his siblings at work. He married and continued to live with his parents and has now divorced because his wife could not get along with his mother.
Its a fine line, loving but not loving too much.