The delicate line of parenting

There is a delicate line that all parents have to ride on. How much freedom or independence to give your child? This is different for each age you parent.

For example, the line I am treading on right now with “E”, is whether I feed him myself (which is WAY cleaner) or do I let him feed himself (though it takes longer and has more clean up)? I know I have to let him feed himself in order to build his fine motor skills of picking up little things likes Cheerios and peas.

As a young toddler, when do you give up control of silverware and allow the toddler to learn how to feed himself?

With “J” now in his “I’ll do it myself”stage, comes the fine line of letting him walk by himself but maintaining his safety. He throws a fit holding my hand, but I need him to be safe in the parking lot where others may not see him or even look.

I know the next lines will be even more challenging. I can only imagine the delicate lines of  grade school and when is the right time to allow sleep overs, middle school and being dropped off for movies or at the mall with friends for the first time, teen years and dating, first job, driving, curfews. It is all the parenting lines that we have to experience: when to allow your kids to experience life, learn from their struggles, cheer on their achievements, and grow up- not too fast, but not keeping them babies.


2 thoughts on “The delicate line of parenting

  1. my son is three.. and still doesn’t feed himself all the time. sometimes he will.. like finger foods. but dinner, soups, pasta.. etc.. no. he says “mommy do”. i am pretty sure he feeds himself at daycare, the one day a week that he goes, so he should feed himself at school, he will be starting in september. he hates holding my hand too and unless i say “no, dangerous!” he just won’t. he is very independant, though.. i hear a lot of “no, i do it” and most things that is fine but it is so hard to convince them when it isn’t ok.
    my daughter is 8, they have a 5 year age gap and i do not remember how we dealt with some of these things, and others were never an issue with her. so hard.

    • I have talked with our pediatrician even about the independence and trying to convince to protect- and he said that kids that young just don’t understand the protecting from the event; they just are trying to still figure out the cause and effect. I guess the power struggle will continue until he just realizes he doesn’t have any other choice.

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