Sponsored by The Mother Company
I never have to wonder what’s going on with my youngest child. He tells me things. A few weeks ago, he mentioned that one of his friends told him a secret that he was worried might have negative consequences for someone at school. We talked it over, and decided that a secret that worries you is exempt from playground confidentially laws. It turned out to be nothing he needed to worry about at all, as he was clearly relieved to learn.
A couple of days ago, he came home from playing at the park with a friend, and told me about a man who was yelling strange things at them. He thought the man might “have something wrong with his brain.” We chatted about the context, and what he’d actually seen and heard vs. been told, and what his gut was telling him. It sounded to me like a case of a cranky old man telling kids to get off his lawn, but we agreed that he should stay clear, and let me know if he has any further encounters.
His older brothers never shared their world so openly with me. Part of it has to do with temperament. My eldest is simply more stoic, and my middle son is naturally more mysterious. The Littlest Who, in contrast, is a talker. If he’s thinking it, we’re hearing it.
But I like to think I’ve earned some of his confidence. When his brothers were little, I couldn’t have had those kinds of conversations calmly. I would have been freaking out. I was frequently freaking out. I was a loving mom in those early years, but I was also a fear-filled one.
I’m not sure how I was delivered from my constant anxiety, except that I bottomed out. I decided I didn’t want to parent out of fear. I didn’t want to contaminate my children with my anxiety. I decided that my job as a mother was not to insulate my kids from life, but to equip them to live it.
That decision has made life better for all of us in every way. I wish it hadn’t taken so long to get there. I don’t much care for the term “free-range parenting,” because it sounds much more hands off than I am, his but I’m glad of the movement. I think our generation of parents (and our kids) has been victimized and preyed upon by the merchants of fear, and has lost confidence in our own instinctual wisdom.
I’m very proud to be working with and writing for The Mother Company to empower moms of young kids to parent confidently and positively. If you’ve followed along any of our #MoCo twitter chats or check out the resources on the website, you’ll noticed that the tone is of one of uncommon common sense. On a spectrum from free-range to helicoptering, Mother Company takes the middle way–neither dismissive of parental concerns nor exploiting them.
If you are parenting, grand parenting or teaching through the “little years,” or know someone who is or will be, you’ll find some wonderful gifts in Ruby’s Studio, the Mother Company online store, including this 3-pack DVD set on friendships, feelings and safety for only $31.50 (normally $50).
I love the Safety Show in particular. When my kids were in preschool, they went to a program called “Safety Town,” nicknamed “Scary Town” by one of their little friends. It’s not easy to talk to young kids about danger without traumatizing them, but the Safety Show does it beautifully with upbeat messages about practical wisdom and confidence.
You’ll also find great books and other videos on the site. And from right NOW through the end of the year, The Mother Company will donate the same product you have bought to the preschool of your choice, when you enter code GIVE1 at checkout (HeadStart will get any donations that are not to a specific preschool).
I’m sure it would be a welcome surprise for a teacher to find upon returning to school in the New Year, and a lasting gift for some little person in your life.
And of course, because this post is part of this epic giveaway week on Planting Dandelions, there’s a set of the above-mentioned DVD bundle up for grabs. Just leave your comment here (and be sure to enter this week’s other great giveaways), and a winner will be randomly selected after 11:59 pm CST on Friday, December 20.
Best of luck!