Are you a safety nut?

Are you a helicopter parent? Are you the type that checks all product recalls, refuses to use old baby equipment, and has poison control on speed-dial? If you are, you'll get a kick out of the fun videos on the Juicebox widget (big green box on the right). I used to be that parent. My children were breast fed until exactly 12 months. They never ate canned baby food. I wouldn't have dreamed of using an expired carseat.

Every bird, plane, bug, etc. was an instant learning experience. And every second of their lives was monitored, watched, hovered, smothered..... Then I spent a little more time with my sister. Her kids were riding 2 wheel bikes without helmets at 2 or 3 years old. And they were outside - alone. OMG - did she want them to die?

But they didn't die. In fact, her kids were pretty resilient. If they fell down, they just got up and went back to their dangerous games. My kids cried and needed to be soothed. When they tried something new, they tackled it and mastered it. What? My kids needed me to show them what to do and help them along the way.

At first, I decided she was just lazy (sorry V) but then I realized she was letting them grow up. And I started to loosen my chains. Now my kids run around outside - all by themselves. They run over to their friends houses. They make their own snacks, take their own showers, and try new things on their own - with no help from me.

Do they fail? Sure. But they also learn to be independent and it's awesome. Now I'm the mom that everyone thinks is lazy (lol) but my kids don't whine as much. They're more confident and capable.

When you're a new parent, it's natural to be a little uptight (and it's kind of funny in retrospect) but do yourself a favor and loosen up. Life is short. Life is funny. And life isn't that big a deal.


Erica @ Just Call Me Cheap said...

My daughter (age 1)- who is the second born- is so much more tough than my son (age 3) was. He would fall and cry until I picked him up and hugged him. When she falls she cries for a second and gets right back up without any soothing. I guess she had no choice when the first thing out of my mouth whenever she cried as a baby would be "your going to have to what a minute, I have to help your brother because he fell/broke something/is stuck/peed on the floor..."

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