Monday, March 19, 2012

Something to Hold On To.

All four together, teaching the boys to make a mess :)

If your anything like me, your a mom who always says to their kids before doing anything out of the norm "be careful", "take it easy" - you get the hint.  I realized yesterday that I say this too much when Mr. Hawk said to me, before I did - "beee cuareffulll".  It was too cute, and a wake-up call.  I am protective.  I'll say it, and I'm not afraid of saying this either.  Things happen everyday that are horrific, terrible, and ugly.  People are hurt, children are hurt, and I will do whatever I need too, to protect my children.  Even if it means being over-protective sometimes.  Do I let my children play outside without supervision?  Do I let them walk home by themselves?  Will I allow them to spend the night at a friend's house?  If I answer no to all of these -am I being over-protective - or am I being smart?

I feel I am being smart.    Being protective allows my children to know what an I find scary or dangerous.   I am all for my children braving certain things on their own, and if need be, learning the hard way that something isn't safe or good for them.  Yet, in my own perfect world, I would still choose to be protective, and over-protective of them, before they learn a lesson on their own and get hurt.  Yet with all my cautionary pleas, they still get hurt.  When my little twin boys were finally movable and crawling everywhere they could, we made sure to have them sit and turn around and go down our stairs backwards.  We were always behind them and ready if they were to loose their balance.  We don't have your normal staircase!  Our home was built in 1810, when stairs weren't regulated.  They are steep, cool, but steep.  After months of this process, we felt they were able to go down the stairs, still backwards, on their own.  

I would always tout my typical "be careful", just in case, they weren't.  Then one day last month, the Hawk sat down, turned around, and started down the steps.  Just as he was ready to go, his hand slipped, he lost his balance.  I wasn't there to catch him...and he tumbled down leg first... then his body went back and his head hit the bottom of the stairs.  I screamed, you bet, I screamed a terrible shrill scream.  Craig bolted to the stairs, picked him up and there wasn't a scratch on him.  I watched him like a hawk (sorry for the pun) but there were no bumps, and so scars - except for my replay of him falling backwards down the stairs (shuttering).

You can say "be careful" over and over again and you can protect your children night and day - but in the end, they will still get hurt.  Perhaps they won't get as hurt, with all my watching and protecting?  We installed a railing for the boys to use to help them tackle the steep stairs better.  We used iron rings and a thick rope, right at their level, and now they have something to hold on to.  They still need our help for now, but I am certain soon they will master the steps on their own.  

Perhaps I am not being over-protective so much as being safe.  It's good for children to accomplish great tasks and master skills.  My children will fail, fall, and be hurt - even after all my "be careful's", cautions, and warnings. Along with my words "be careful", I've learned to also say "good job", "yeah", "you're awesome" when they've accomplished something small and large.  For now, I will hold on to the fact that they are succeeding, they are daring, they are brave, and they are amazing.

Are you protective or consider yourself over-protective?
Do you feel you give your children enough space to encourage creativity and person growth?


Twins Squared said...

Oh my gosh I am 100% with you on this one. And I feel like so many people think I'm crazy when really I think they're crazy. I agree with sometimes they need to get hurt and learn hard lessons and such, but some things, a lot of things, are just foolish! I go to parks and cringe at the stuff I see other people do. And because I have felt like things were unsafe with my crew I just decline. We stayed away from lots of parks for many years if I couldn't bring another adult with me. Missed a lot of playdates because I know other moms aren't going to be watching my kids for me and that my one body wasn't enough when they were going in different directions. I even had this thing built above our balcony railing made of plexiglass because when the 2nd set were born all I could think of were my older girls going over and me finding them lying on the bottom floor because they might do something crazy like try to fly. We had to wall up beautiful window niches upstairs overlooking the first floor too after someone else's child climbed up on one and sat on the ledge. It confirmed all my fears and I called a contractor the next day. So I'm glad to know I'm not the only one. Yes, you hear about stuff all the time. But yes we also don't want to be overbearing and let our kids spread their wings. The fact that you know you are this way means you probably will be able to step back like you say but one of our primary jobs as a parent is to protect your child. Does that mean never letting them doing anything fun? No but you have to be smart. There's a lot of foolish parents out there who think nothing's ever going to happen.

Twins Squared said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
donna said...

Michelle~ wow how scary. I'm so glad to hear that Mr Hawk is ok after that big fall..

Hi My name is Donna and i'm a very over-protective Mother..

Melinda said...

So glad that hawk is okay! My kids have had a few bad falls and it's so awful.

I'm a total over protective mom. I've had to learn to chill out a lot now that Blake and ash are older. Controlling doesn't work, it just pushes them away. Plus they really need to know yo trust them. It's so so hard.

Michelle Alley said...

I agree u have to be smart and smart is knowing what u as a mom can handle. Moms of twins know that playgrounds, swimming, crowded places, and really anywhere is always harder to handle! Thanks so much for your comment, I hope u get this reply as I've never used this function bEfore ;)

Michelle Alley said...

I agree u have to be smart and smart is knowing what u as a mom can handle. Moms of twins know that playgrounds, swimming, crowded places, and really anywhere is always harder to handle! Thanks so much for your comment, I hope u get this reply as I've never used this function bEfore ;)