By Heather O.
My friend told me today that J hates her. He loves her son, but clearly does not like her. Having never heard word one about this woman from my child’s lips, I asked her why she thought that.
Ok, that could be true. I’m not exactly a rule Nazi. But I was curious, and asked her what rules she had that I did not. We chatted about our perspective rules according to our situations (i.e, she lives in a townhouse close to a busy street, so her son is not allowed to open the door and go outside unsupervised. We live in a sheltered cul-de-sac where I know every neighbor, so J can outside any time he darn well feels like it). But then she said, “You son is so independent. I’m wondering if my rules have made my son more timid. You have given your child so much more autonomy.”
I will admit, “timid” is not a word I would use to describe my child. This is a kid who dove off a diving board when he was 2 and a half, and even tried to do a flip after he saw the bigger kids doing it. Fearless, reckless, even clueless would be better descriptions than timid.
But allowing him autonomy? I’m not sure I can take credit for that. Is my son independent because I have allowed him greater freedom, or did his independent nature demand more flexibility? Is her son more timid because of her tight leash, or has she responded with a tighter leash because she recognized that he is more comfortable with a better defined structure? How much control do we have over our child’s independence, if any?
What I didn’t tell my friend is that my lack of rules has less to do with my quest for giving my kid autonomy than my own ultimate laziness. Hey, the toy is in the car? Go get it yourself kid, I’m busy. My laziness is fostering independence? Hey, works for me.
WordPress database error: [Can't open file: 'wp_comments.MYI' (errno: 144)]
SELECT * FROM wp_comments WHERE comment_post_ID = '436' AND comment_approved = '1' ORDER BY comment_date