Why I STOP myself from being an overprotective mother
“Why didn’t you pick up the little one? She must have been hurt!”
A few days back a friend of mine was visiting, and even as we were talking about old times and new, our kids were playing around us. Suddenly, my younger one fell down on the garden. I did see her from the corner of my eye, but I continued to sit and keep talking, instead of going up to her and picking her up.
My friend was appalled. She looked at me with that look in her eyes and said, “Why didn’t you pick up the little one? She must have been hurt!”
Even as she was saying so, my younger one got up, looked at me once and brushed the dust off her knees and hands. She continued to play, and that was the end of her falling down and being upset.
Why are we turning so protective
This made me wonder, are we really turning too protective about our kids? Taking control of all their moments and experiences, almost like living it for them instead of letting them live them out on their own? Are we so concerned not to let them get hurt, that we are sensitizing them, giving them an antiseptic fake world that risks doing more harm than good?
If you grew up during the 80s and 90s like I did, I am sure you had your moments of unrestricted play and fun. Of course my parents were protective and caring and careful, but what I remember about my childhood is the many falls I had, the many times I got hurt but learnt to take care of my tears, the many talks I would have with my ma about things in general, and how I also had a viewpoint to share, because I was living it myself too. Not just reading about things in books but actually experiencing them myself.
I have spent hours playing in the sun without being slobbered up in increasing degrees of UVA creams, I have travelled with my parents and tasted out of the world food at local roadside eateries, without my parents worrying about only eating at a branded chain or a star rated restaurant, without worrying about bugs and whatnots that may enter my tummy if I ate at a roadside dhaba.
I stayed at simple guest houses and lodges, enjoying the place and the city more, instead of being cooped up inside the property claiming to enjoy it as part of a vacation.
I never stop my children from crying...
I lived through heartaches and pains, I lived through breakups, losing people and friends, changing cities, going through financial problems that my parents were facing while I was growing up, seeing the ugly and as well as the dirty side of families and relatives even as I was still holding on to my innocence.
But the best part about growing up like this? The fact that I realized and learned that feelings and experiences are something you need to live through your own trials and tribulations, that smiles and those amazing moments are as much important in life as letting your tears fall and making you strong enough to rise back up again.
Which is why I never tell my children not to cry. I tell them yes, cry, if you feel like it, tell me about it, but remember, after you cry, wipe your eyes and be ready again. There is so much to explore and learn from out there. And for sure I will not live it for them, but let them live it their own way, and be by their side as I live it too.
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