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.