While we were on the Cape I was informed that E exploring the outside world on my mother’s mowed, organically grown lawn would most definitely result in her contracting horrible parasites via tick larvae, and I should therefore make her sit on a blanket or avoid the ground all together.
“Huh,” was about all I could muster for a response to this one. While I am sure that there have been cases of contracting parasites or Lyme Disease in strange ways, I’m also sure of the fact that myself, most of the people I know, and children now played and continue to play on lawns and in yards all over the world with no harm done. Is it worth instilling a fear in E of grass and the ground outside in general to protect her from a rare potential harm? In my opinion, No.
Now I’ll be the first to admit that I’m not about win any mom of the year awards. Here’s today’s list of infractions so far:
I inadvertently hurled E out of a friend’s high chair (no worries, I caught her) by taking the tray off as she leaned towards a puff, entirely forgetting I hadn’t buckled her in.
I dressed her in shorts and a tank top on a 57 degree day. To my credit it is the end of July.
I used food and TV as coping mechanisms for an upset E brought on by a pathetic afternoon nap.
I’m sure an onlooker could name about 20 more, but I’ll leave it there for now.
All bad parenting aside, I think I’m right in saying that at some point we have to let our kids explore and play at the risk of them falling down and getting scuffs and bruises, and possibly even getting ill, be it from a cold virus or bacteria. They need to learn to fall down and get up, fight their own fights, and pay consequences for their actions. I refuse to be a bubble wrapping “helicopter” mom. E will fall down, play in the dirt, and get tossed in the waves. She will learn to get back up, both literally and, later in life, figuratively. For if there’s one thing I wish for her to be it is resilient.
One big question remains, how much is too much, in either direction?
For now I’m letting this define the balance: Barring possible serious injury, life threatening and unbearably embarrassing situations, let them play, let them try, let them experience life.
What are your thoughts on protecting and overprotecting children?