We’ve all heard of helicopter parents and whatever other types of names there have been associated with parenting styles. The truth is the best parenting style is what works for you and your family. If that’s different from others it doesn’t matter as every family is different. I am far from a perfect parent but need to point out some observations I had from two different kids events I went to.
I don’t consider myself a hovering parent. If my kids are at something I let them do what it is without interfering unless my kids need help. How else will kids learn if we continue to do everything for them?
I went to two different kids events this week and witnessed a contrast in styles at the events. The one event was an Easter egg hunt. I was by myself with 4 of our 5 kids. The boys were fine by themselves in the oldest egg area, Reese was in middle area and Alice in the youngest group of 2-3 year olds. Now I get 2 and 3 year olds need some help but I was appalled to watch the parents do all the work, grabbing egg after egg for their kid. I let Alice pick up eggs as she saw them and we only got 3 which was fine. Isn’t the point of an egg hunt for kids to pick up eggs not adults?
The irony of all this was that regardless if you got 10 eggs or 1, you got the same thing when you turned in your eggs, a premade bag filled with some candy. So guess what pushy parents you didn’t need to grab ten eggs for your kid because you got the same thing as my daughter who picked up three by herself!
I went to an event at Barnes and Noble with Shane earlier last week where the parents stood back and let the kids do everything and it was so much more enjoyable. There was games and trivia for a new Dogman book coming out (a series Shane really likes). I know the kids were older and didn’t need as much guidance but it was nice to watch the kids do everything while the parents just supervised and watched. That’s how it should always be.
When we take our kids to things yes we are selfishly doing things to make ourselves feel good but it’s about the kids experiencing things and doing things and learning and growing. How did picking up every egg you saw while your child stood there with a basket help them any? What did that teach them? To be selfish and not listen to the rules. At some point they need to grow and not have you do everything for them so why not start with an egg hunt where the prizes were all the same. Why not focus on the fun of watching your children pick up and look for eggs instead of doing that all yourself. Why not let them use their awareness to look around and grab eggs?
I am far from a perfect parent, in fact I often question if I am doing a good job, so I am not here to be overly critical of other parenting styles or approaches. But when parents take over what should be a kids event I believe that’s not fair and not right to the other kids in attendance. That’s not allowing kids to be kids and learn and grow and be independent.
I do believe each family needs to do what works best for them but also realize kids need some space to grow and learn. Kids events are so much more enjoyable when it’s kids doing and experiencing more than parents. The earlier we can let kids be independent and try things the better off they will be. Whether it’s an egg hunt or story time or whatever other kids event you bring your children to, remember and focus on why you are really there. Yes in part it’s for you, but it’s an opportunity for your kids to be social and learn and grow. And some of this learning and growing needs to happen without the interference of us as parents.
#parenting #parentingstyles #kidsevents #letkidslearn #egghunt #momoffive