Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Overprotective...Me?

Found out it's never too late to learn...about myself, that is.  I've got "help with homework" duty every weeknight from 5:00 - 7:00, and last night I ended up reading an article that was totally about me and my parenting style.  Most of our style these days, in fact.  I'm not one to like fitting into any sort of clich√© sort of thing, particularly when it was a style that the author thought was ultimately a bit damaging, albeit widespread, but that's kind of how it went.

What was it?  It was overprotective parenting and its effects on the kiddos.  When I was a kid I was pretty much of a homebody, but I was always allowed to be out and around if I got the gumption up.  And when I did I'd disappear for hours on end.  I'd be at the creek down the hill getting filthy, being too scared to pick up crawdads, loving playing with all the frogs I found, and often not returning home until my mom went outside, stood in the street, and banged a gong until I got home.  Embarrassing much?  Uh, you bet!

My own kids got to explore creeks, too, but I was always there.  They picked up crawdads and frogs, but I'd make them wash up right quick.  They could go places, but I had to always know where they were, and once they entered sixth grade and got cell phones, I'd expect them to pick up if I called them. 

I felt guilty at first after reading the homework article and went to my "go to" excuse of "well, something could have happened to them!"  And as I experienced having two men (strangers) pull up next to me as I was walking home from elementary school and demand that I get in the car with them, and I had the good sense to run as fast as I could to the nearest house and bang on the door for help, I know sometimes things do happen to kids.

So...I think I need to take my kids out this weekend, drop them off at a sweet little creek, confiscate their phones, and insist that they get covered in mud and touch and set free at least five critters each.

...oops, I think I just got controlling again.

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