Thursday, November 29, 2012

Best Intentions

One of my favorite blogs is Free Range Kids. Today's parents are so overly concerned about what their kids are doing every single second. I want my son to be independent and confident. I refuse to be a helicopter parent.

The Sunday before Thanksgiving my church had a wonderful brunch after service. The food was incredible. :)

Marshal loves church and I love how comfortable he is there. He rarely panics if he can't find me right away, but at three he has had his moments.

Well, on this particular Sunday we were all sitting at tables and eating (our church meets at a high school and we are in the common area) and Marshal wanted to go play. I told him that was just fine...go for it.
Dancing with my boy in public.
So he starts looking for another kid to play with and he wanders a ways off - but I could still see him. Then he gets to one of the double doors to go outside. I'm still watching him and I was absolutely fine with him venturing outside. Practically the whole wall is glass and I could easily see him if he was outside. He is a strong little kid and started pushing one of the doors open.

And an adult interferes and brings him back over to my table. I tell her it's okay...he can go outside if he wants. She looks a little surprised but accepted it just fine. This happened a couple of times with other adults.

So he continues to play and ends up outside with another little kid for a few minutes. It was pretty cold so they were going in and out. She ended up inside and he was on his way out again. He was doing just fine outside by himself...and I could SEE him.

Next thing I know he's under the arm of one of the older ladies. She actually PICKED him up and was carrying him over to our table to ask who's child he was. [I'm actually surprised he tolerated being picked up by a stranger.]

It was all I could do not to be sarcastic but I told her that I knew what he was doing and I was watching him and he had permission to go outside. She looked at me as though I had two heads, set him down, and walked off muttering.

Now, don't get me wrong, I'm glad that our church is so close and that people look out for each other and our kids. I just found it amusing. Yes, he's three and most of the other three year olds are right next to their parents. But I don't WANT him to be like other kids.

I want him to grow into a confident and independent adult. I wasn't letting him play in the road or anywhere near the road. There weren't huge crowds of people. I could still see him. He wasn't panicking. He was being an independent little boy.

I also let him climb and explore at the play ground on toys that are considered "unsafe" for his age. I figure if he has the confidence to do it I'm not going to stop him.

Going on the BIG slide at the fair. It was pretty scary but he did awesome.

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