Yesterday, I read an article from Psychology Today, called “A Nation of Wimps.” The basic premise was that as a culture we are going to great lengths to shelter our children from failure. We all want to help our children succeed and achieve their highest potential…but at what cost?
According to this article, it is perhaps because of our tendency to protect our children from pain, disappointment, and failure that children have become increasingly fragile and that may be why they’re “breaking down in record numbers.”
This all makes sense to me. It’s hard watching your kid fail – even at such an early toddler age. There are times when I want to help my daughter complete tasks because I worry about her getting hurt; skinning a knee or bumping her head or eating something weird off the floor. I know she has to learn about the world and figure things out on her own, but it’s just so hard for me and my Type-A tendencies sometimes. It’s something my husband and I have been discussing lately.
He is constantly reminding me that it’s important for her development to let her figure out things on her own and give her the space to do so. Ouch. It’s a shot to the pride when your husband with a business degree, is telling you – the one with a degree in human development and family sciences and who has years of experience as a teacher under her belt – about child development. I know he’s right though.
Raising a wimp is not something that I want to do. I want my daughter to be well-adjusted (whatever that actually means) and to figure out how to learn from her mistakes. I want her to fail and get back up. But if I do everything for her, it’s not going to happen. I’m finding that this is one of the most difficult challenges about motherhood for me currently. I’m trying to find a balance between being nurturing my child and giving her room to grow and become an independent, and perfectly imperfect, little person. It’s a work in progress to be certain.
Do any of you struggle with this balance? How do you find a balance between holding on and letting go?
Lauren Hartmann is the founder of The Little Things We Do, a blog about life and adventures in Portland Oregon. Follow her on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest and Instagram or catch up on all of her posts here on Babble. More from Lauren: