Last night as I was browsing Facebook, I saw an article entitled – “Please Don’t Help My Kids”, my interest was piqued.
I clicked the link, and read the intro blurb.
“I am not sitting here, 15 whole feet away from my kids, because I am too lazy to get up and help them climb the ladder. I brought them here so they could learn to climb it themselves.” (direct quote from the article written by Kate Bassford Baker)
I read the entire article and found myself nodding along thoughtfully to several points while I read.
As a mom, I encourage independence (age appropriate) in my kids. I want them to explore, be courageous, and to know the joy and elation that comes from conquering an obstacle on their own.
While growing up, my Dad always told me that one of the best things he could do for me was to allow me to fail (or fall as the case may be) and in doing that also gain the confidence in the knowledge that my parents would be there to help pick me up, dust me off, and get me started again. That’s one of the lessons that I try to teach my kids, too.
I want them to try, and I want them to know that while I’ll always be here to help, I won’t do it for them. I fully believe that kids should be encouraged to do things on their own, I think it’s vital.
That being said – if there’s a child crying, or in distress, or even in danger (in my eyes) I’ll be the first one to jump up and help them. I’d rather apologize to a parent for stepping in, than be a bystander to an accident.
I shared the article on my Facebook wall and it immediately got attention and garnered quite a few comments. Some people didn’t read the whole article, but the ones who did had some great commentary. I really enjoy respectful conversation, because with articles such as this – we all come at it from different perspectives. We read with our own backgrounds, beliefs, state of mind, and emotions. One commenter called it a rant and even suggested that we (moms) all need to chill out, while another one said she agreed with the writer 100%.
After digesting everyone’s thoughts and opinions, I went back and read the article again. I still had my own reaction to it, but I also saw how someone might see it as a rant, another as an overreaction, another as ridiculous, and even how others could agree completely, and see it as nothing more than one mom expressing her opinion after a possibly exasperating day at the park.
Parenting is hard, none of us are perfect. We are all trying to raise the best possible people that we can, and I do think we should do a lot more helping each other, building each other up, and being more compassionate with each other’s differences instead of tearing each other down and judging.
Have you read Please Don’t Help My Kids ? What are your thoughts? Have you ever encountered a situation where you thought a child was in danger, or that their parent wasn’t being watchful? How did you handle it?
Please keep all comments respectful and thoughtful. Any attacks or negativity/judgement will be deleted.