You’ve done the hard part, they say. They say “congratulations, now you can start enjoying your brand new baby”. This may be true in the most part, for women more so than us guys. Mothers have a tough time of it during pregnancy, carrying a person inside you is something that only they will know.
However, for the most part raising a baby is pretty self explanatory, I mean after you combat the extreme sleep deprivation, spontaneous screaming, and unpredictable toilet habits, you are in affect left to love and enjoy your new bundle of joy in peace.
It is when your children reaches the age at which they can stand on their own two feet that the fun starts, I literally mean stand on their own two feet as well. Bobby, my son learnt to run first rather than walk, courtesy of his Grandad and a laminate floor, It looked like a high speed controlled fall where he looked like a robot taking his first steps on a bouncy castle being towed behind an aeroplane, pardon the metaphor, but I hope you understand.
So for all the parents out there who are currently feeding their little ones in their arms, struggling to stay awake during a 3 am feed, listen up. Enjoy the control and peace you currently have from your little ones, because soon you will experience what I like to call the ‘Fearless Independence’ stage of your child’s life. Where they have a complete disregard for any and all danger.
Whether you are in your home, in the car, out shopping, at the beach, or at the play park, you will come to realise that even your best efforts can not protect your kids from everything. You can explain the rules and dangers that we have all had to face in life, but it is essentially up to them to listen and respect them. Which for a hyperactive, inquisitive, adventure filled kid is easier said than done.
Walking through a crowded shopping center, filled with noise and rushing feet and all you want to do is get what you are after and leave, but your little one wants to walk ahead or behind, not hold your hand because that’s just not cool. They stray far to close to an escalator or an automatic door. They get lost in a maze of overpriced hanging hipster jackets, and play hide and seek without informing you that you are the seeker. This is fearless independence.
Sitting on a gloriously golden beach in the Mediterranean, frantically attracting heat exhaustion while trying to blow up an un-inflatable arm band whilst applying copious amounts of factor 50 when you look up to see your little one at the waters edge preparing for a perfect 10 Olympic dive. This is fearless independence.
Even at home, step out of the room to get another load to place in the washing machine, come back and they’re sat on the work top playing building blocks with your brand new china, because they wanted a sandwich. This is fearless independence.
To kids this is not fearless independence this is just fun, practical, life. But to us as adults as parents we see the consequences and the danger. We are so intent on protecting our little ones are we stopping them from having fun? Well yes, and no. To me there is no right or wrong answer. Some parents have a shorter metaphorical boundary than others but I think it is down to the individual. As long as you teach your children the rules and show them how to behave and be safe then they can still be the hyperactive, inquisitive, adventure filled kids they want to be, without feeling suffocated but know that there’s a safe way to have fun. If you do this then you can be safe in the knowledge that what ever mountain they choose to climb next, it’s because you showed them how. Showed them how to do it safely.
Take the time with your kids now to educate them, so you don’t have to fear their fearless Independence through out their lives.
For more tips to help you through the tough road of parenting check out some of my other blog posts by clicking here.