Things Are Not What They Seem

The other day as I was cooking supper in the kitchen, my son came in and asked if he could go down to the bike path by himself.  He wanted to explore the tall grasses and little creek.

As much as I knew he would be fine, I said, “No, not now.”

As soon as those words came out of my mouth he said, “Mom, you never let me do anything any more!”

Instead of getting mad, I smiled at him and gave him a hug.

He shrugged it off and asked what he could do instead.

“Go out in the backyard and kick a ball, go dig in the garden, read a book, there’s lot of things to do,” I gently reminded him.

“But mom, I know every inch of our backyard.  Well…ok,” he replied in a kind-of-bummed tone of voice.

As I returned to my cooking I couldn’t help but smile.  He is growing up.  He is ready to start spreading his wings and explore on his own. Most importantly, he is feeling confident in his abilities.  His abilities as a person to be on his own.

I’m not talking about him moving away to college (he is only eight years old after-all!!!), but I’m talking about how he sees himself as a person who can start taking initiative and take care of himself.  He does not need me to do everything for him anymore.

Today on the way to school he asked when he gets to walk alone.

These questions and his attitude lately do not mean that he does not care for me anymore.  Quite the contrary.  It means that he knows I too believe in him.  He knows that he has the room to grow in our home.  The room to explore.

I hear parents getting mad and viewing their kids as ungrateful if their young kids say you don’t let me do anything.  But, in reality, the child is just excited to start doing more tasks on their own (and isn’t this what we want as parents?!)..they are ready for more responsibility.

Not many adults have the communication skills to say, “I am feeling like I am ready to handle more in life.  Could you give me more responsibility?”  So we cannot expect our kids to use that kind of language.

So for now, Mom you never let me do anything…might be a little phrase of blessing.


About The Author

Summer Brackhan

Mom, sociologist, teacher, author, musician, world traveler, parenting and health coach who believes healthy living incorporates body, mind and soul and that life is not about living in little boxes, but experiencing everything at its fullest.

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