Looking Forward, Backwards

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Kids should be kids right? Kids should be able to play and have fun without fear. TreeSwingI remember my Dad once telling me, “You are not allowed to go inside anyone’s house for any reason without telling me first.” I was about 10 years old at the time and thought this was an odd demand. I agreed that I would not enter a home without reporting to him first. Of course, this all occurred (ahem) WAY before cell phones so how would I report to him? I dunno… and of course, I didn’t. I went into a friends home to use the bathroom and to this day I cannot figure out how my Dad busted me on it! Hehehe… Parents do know all. Looking back now I see how he was trying to protect me.

Children should be able to play unafraid. I know that I was completely naive to the dangers around me. I did not see how my Dad’s request was protection for me. Now I see it and I may have taken it the opposite direction and become overly protective of my children. I am fearful to let them cross the street to get the mail, ride their bikes on the sidewalk in front of our house, GERMS (that’s another post to come) and so much more. Why?

See, last week I was watching my kiddos playing with their cousins (On this swing! It's a ton of fun!) and I got reflective. Things have changed. The way I am raising my kids is different than the way my parents raised me. The freedoms I took as a child growing up scare me now. The kids ran around laughing and playing even working out little squabbles amongst themselves. In a brief moment I realized that my fear for them will effect them, their experiences and their memories.

How do you want your kids to remember their childhood? Where is the line in the sand of independence? How much do I let up on them and yet still keep them safe?



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