Today I saw this video and it has made me contemplate some of my parenting techniques.
This video left me feeling conflicted and I have spent some time reflecting on it. I see a confident child who is empowered and full of self-worth. So amazing to watch! Imagine if the person who filmed this would have saw the act of climbing on the counter and immediately stopped it? This wonderful, empowering moment would have been lost. Then I thought if I had walked into the bathroom and caught my daughter standing on the counter top, I probably would have immediately intervened and asked her to climb down. Why?
As an early child hood educator, I frequently reflect on situations and I seek out their value. Often it’s easy to see the benefit of letting scenarios run their course. However, I must refer back to something I touched on earlier this week… it is completely different when it’s your own child.
When my daughter was 2 1/2 I had walked into her bedroom and discovered that not only did my daughter figure out the child latch on her dresser drawer, but she emptied the drawer out, moved the speaker (so she could stand on it of course) and was playing with the stereo and the light. After taking a picture, I had directed her to clean up the “mess” and instructed her on how dangerous this was.
One could say that this demonstrates a clever, problem solving child. However, in the moment, all I could see was disaster and injury.
I want to say yes. I try to say yes… but then the mom in me worries about bumps, bruises and broken limbs. But then the early childhood educator in me is more concerned about the broken spirit and the shattered sense of self-esteem.
Once again, this is me… the deliberate mom, reflecting, questioning, and challenging what I do and why I do it.
After watching the video and reflecting on my own parenting techniques I realized that I am bordering on smothering my child. Her rebellious outbursts are perhaps my fault because I spend too much time guiding and redirecting and not enough time observing and enjoying. I imagine that the person who filmed this video is someone who is okay with pausing before reacting. Perhaps if the child wasn’t having such a meaningful encounter, the parent would have intervened.
So, I’ve decided that I’m going to pause and start saying yes more often. Whenever I capture a moment (hopefully with camera) I’ll share them here with you. Today I pledge to pause and say yes. I would love it if you would join me and say yes too!
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