Saturday, October 2, 2010

Learning About Life at the Playground

I ventured out on this beautiful October morning and I learned some stuff.

While we were at the playground I really got to observe different parenting styles.  There was the inattentive parent whose child could be jumping into a well and wouldn't notice.  There was the overly attentive parent who equally annoyed me.  This parent had two children.  The older of the two went down the fireman's pole and apparently hit his knee or something lame.  The mom went over and helped her poor injured son hobble over to the bench.  Then the younger, and braver, daughter wanted to go down the pole.  Holy crap.  Unacceptable.  The kid was asking if she could please do it herself, but the mother wouldn't have any of it.  The exact same pole I let my three year old go down minutes prior.

Which brings me to a third type of parent, who I think I fit into, the laid-back but encouraging type.  There was this man with his 2 year old son and he was letting him go down the aforementioned pole, almost by himself.  One of the times the kid did hit his face or something, but when the father didn't make a big deal out of it, neither did he.  I like to think I am like this.  Encouraging him to do things that are challenging and then kinda steam-rolling over falls.  This does backfire, on occasion, though, when I insist that he is fine, then a few minutes later I notice he is hemorrhaging.  Oops.

Then there was the highly interactive parent, playing tag with his kids.  That was really cute.  I strive to do this more.

All of these observations made me think of my parents.  They were all "You can't do it?  Well, I guess you can't do it."  When I couldn't do the monkey bars my mom said that, well, she didn't have any upper body strength either.  So that was that.  I never learned the monkey bars.  I don't think they were over protective, I think that their philosophy was that you are born to be able to do X and not Y so why bother with Y?  Even more recently my dad told my friend that I was afraid of bridges and heights.  I said "No I'm not!"  "Well there was that bridge that you would never go over."  "Yeah, that was a long time ago.  I've gotten over it."  Like if you are afraid of heights, you are afraid of heights and that is it.  I want to always try to help Ryder overcome his fears by showing him that there is nothing to be afraid of.

I should be making a list.


  1. You're a good mom. Gotta let them try things so they can learn and feel good about themselves. Encourage them. Listen to them. I think some parents treat their kids like things rather than people. Sure. They're little but they need the same things big people do. Peace.

  2. That's a good idea, help him get over his fears. Way to go!

  3. Parenting styles DO differ...makes it hard to give advice when asked because sometimes people look at you like you've lost your mind :)

  4. Yup. Everyone is different...sometimes I wish I were then I remember the cool things I do do!! De da da da.

  5. I have always been afraid of spiders. I never had to deal with them, because I always had a partner who did.

    And then he died.

    Suddenly my stepfatherless 6 year old was grieving, my life was empty, and there was a massive, MASSIVE spider in the bath. I shouted Rich, and obviously, he didn't come down the stairs, all clumpy and slightly dishevelled at the early hour.

    I'd love to say I picked it up with my bare hands, but actually, I didn't. I left it there over night, and hoped it would be gone. It wasn't. It was bigger. (Yes it was!)

    So I glass and paper and out the door with it. Now I can do that every time. Mostly. Because I had to get over it, I had to man up and realise that it was a spider, it was an English spider and it wasn't going to hurt me. Now I think they are gorgeous, in their own way. And away from me.

    You'll be ok you know. He's 3, and you can pretend all kinds of things when they are 3. Like it doesn't hurt, and lifts are not deathboxes, and spiders won't eat you. And that you like Daddy, but you just can't play nicely together, so it's best that we don't play. (Or maybe that's just my ex......)

    But this got long, so I'm going now. Nice blog.

  6. Your an awesome mom! I was the type of mom (and am the type of grandmother) that gets out there and plays with the kids. If they say they can't do something, I always say "Can't never could" and explain to them that they don't know if they can do it if they don't try. If you try and fail and don't want to try again that's one thing but not to try at all is unacceptable to me.

  7. Encouragement is key. Even if you're freaking out on the inside you need to encourage on the outside. Bravery can be learned and once they see that you're ready to tackle something they'll try it too.

    You're doing a fab job!!


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