A few weeks back, I had an interesting interaction with another parent. While at soccer practice for our 6 year old, I allowed our 4 year old to play at a nearby play ground. So I strategically placed myself at a midway point between the soccer field and the playground (as I wanted to keep my eye on one and watch the other practice.) At one point, my daughter climbed to the top of jungle gym and attempted slide down a fireman’s pole like structure that required her to leap across in order to get on it. When I saw her reach for the pole, I ran and yelled: “nooooo nooo don’t do that.” Meanwhile, another mom was standing on the playground yelling: “She’s OK. Let her go. She has done nothing wrong. Let her go.” I ignored her and continued to tell my daughter that she was not allowed on the pole. The other mom tried to assert herself a few more times. I was not having it because:
#1. To my knowledge, my daughter had never gone down that pole before.
#2. The first time she goes down the pole, I want to be standing beneath it in case something goes wrong.
#3. I was too far away from the playground for my child to be playing daredevil.
#4. When her son came down that pole, that other mother was standing directly under it. Yet, she wanted my baby to go down with no safety net.
So, Back up Lady…… that’s my child.
Anyway those were my reasons for not allowing my child to slide down the pole. And quite frankly, I don’t care if other parents feel that she’s old enough to slide down the pole alone. I have to parent at my own speed and using my own judgment. There’s no other way to do it.
However with that being said, I do believe that parents should be open minded and open to suggestions from other parents. For example, my mother in-law has been living with us for over two years now. And she has made a few suggestions that have actually made my life better. She taught the kids to make their beds when they were three years old. I probably would have waited a year or so to teach them. And now they have been making their beds and cleaning their rooms every day for over a year.
There are a few other things that she has taught me, as well as my mom and sister, that I have actually adopted with my own kids. However, there are plenty of things that we just don’t do the same. And that’s OK because I have to raise my kids.
In the end, I do think it takes a village to raise a child. So I find myself walking a tightrope between being appreciative that someone else cares and feeling like folks are butting in. In the end, when advice is offered I just grin and nod. And sometimes I take it. And sometimes I think:
Back up Lady..that’s my child.
Are you open to parenting advice from others? Do you think it is appropriate for other parents to tell you when to allow your kids to do things?
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