• Practice What Your Preach

    I would like to think that I follow all of the advice I give the parents I work with but that would be a ridiculous lie.  Today I was tested yet again and actually felt mildly successful.  

    I often discuss the perils of the helicopter parent (see earlier blog) and remind parents I work with that we need to let our kids struggle, deal with the challenge, fall on their faces once in a while.  Today I wanted to put my son in a bubble and protect him from harm.

    We went down to the pool and there were a bunch of kids.  My son does not know these kids as he does not go to school with them but they all know each other.  I was happy when he settled in to a game of Marco Polo!  My eyes were closed but I kept a close ear.  Pretty soon it became clear that the other boys were not responding "Polo" to my son's "Marco".  I opened one eye and noticed that one boy had gotten out of the pool!  I could hear the frustration in my son's voice and my first impulse was to jump up and say "Hey, how would you feel if no one responded to you, and since when are you allowed to leave the pool?"  Those were not the rules in the 70's.  Then again, seems we had much fewer restrictions back then!

    But I stayed on my lounge chair.  My son stayed pretty calm and eventually, another boy set the rules back on track.  The game then turned to the age-old game of water chicken.  Both eyes opened now.  It was clear to me that the boys were being tougher on my son.  I fought the urge to ask the lifeguard if this game was actually allowed!  It was tough but I rode it out and all went well..... shocker.  

    I was proud of myself but more proud of my son.  He was placed in a few challenging situations today and he handled them well.  Instead of rescuing him and not allowing him to stick it out, I was able to tell him later on that I was proud of him.  He beamed, and so did I!..)