I have a confession to make, my kids scare me sometimes, not in a creepy kid laughter in the middle of the night kind of way, but rather in that they are so fearless that I don’t know how to handle it.
By nature, my mother will tell you that I was her cheekiest child, or her most challenging child shall we say, I questioned everything, and I always pushed limits because that was my nature. Cue a few years down the line and I have sons who are now just as challenging whereas I am at a point in my life where I calculate risk, safety, etc. Thus, the dilemma, see, lets take Cupcake for example, he will run, climb, push, and try anything without a care. Raining outside? He will run around and get sopping wet. Busy mall? He will run down the corridors without a thought. Sea Point promenade? He will run so close to the railing that I prefer not to visit there anymore because I will get a hurt attack.
On the contrary, I thought that Dumpling would be more chill, since he’s turned a year, he too has found his sense of adventure, and I seriously don’t need to consider the gym at all because they truly keep me on my toes.
So how does a mom, who is quite introverted, raise free spirits? Well… that’s the big question, the main reason I also went back to work was that I did not want to stifle their growth and keep them to myself. It meant that many thought it was a selfish move on my part, but I thoroughly thought the decision through. Now that they are both at carers and school, they can grow into social little beings who are comfortable to mingle with others and stand up for themselves.
And what is wrong with that? Having kids who can comfortably walk down the street, greeting all the neighbours, waving to the cashiers at the store, but also knowing that they don’t need to hug everyone, and they have a right over who they encounter with.
It is so tricky because in the current day and age we need to protect our children, we need to keep them safe, but we also cannot raise them in little bubbles because that is unfair. My mom always told me, “we do not raise our children for ourselves, we raise them for the world”. The impact on how we guide their personalities now will be who we leave the world to, so we must decide, do I leave the world to a child who is too fearful to navigate it? or do I leave the world to a child who is able to have hope and adventure?
I will be honest, it is not always easy, the need to want to ensure that they always stay within boundaries is all encompassing, but in being super stringent in those boundaries I realise that I am making them and myself miserable and that is not fair. Hence, my new stance, I will no longer fight with my toddlers, I will no longer enforce but rather enable them to make the right choices, so far its been good, but hey, parenting isn’t meant to be easy, but as long as my free spirits get to soar then I think I’m doing okay.
Always with Love & Peace