What kind of parent am I? This is a question I think about a lot. Instead of labeling myself, I parent from a place of trust. It’s definitely been a learning process because when they were little it was all about fear. Be careful, you are going to fall. Don’t do that, you might hurt yourself. And on and on. Then I realized that in order for my kids to grow up as independent adults, I needed to start trusting them.
What Are You Afraid Of?
The other night at book club, as the wine flowed, it was all the typical mom talk. Where do your kids go to school? How old are they? And the night wouldn’t be complete without some talk of poop.
One of the moms brought up something she read on Facebook. The scenario was: Do you watch and wave to your child five times as they walk into school to make sure they get inside? Other moms were nodding along in agreement saying they do this all the time.
After a glass of wine (or two) my filter is gone about my own life (hence the poop talk). I flat out said, “Oh no, I kick my kids out at the end of the sidewalk, say I love you and drive off. I would even drop my oldest off at dance when she was 5 and come back when she was done.”
Build Unshakeable Trust With Your Kids
This isn’t about me being irresponsible in fact it’s quite the exact opposite. I trust that my kids are going to walk straight into the building and be where they are supposed to be. They have always been in the right place when I pick them up because we have good communication. We talk about where they are to meet me and I know they will be there because I’ve drill it into their heads. Plus, I know they are with teachers/coaches that care about their safety while in their care.
On the heels of my comment about dropping my daughter off at dance, I also mentioned that during football season my son will have 2 hour practices. Do I stay? No, I am definitely a drop off and see ya later mom. Several of them were like “You don’t stay?” No, I have three other kids who have places to be. This is a time to run errands and cook dinner.”
He doesn’t need me there.
In fact, if I am there I become a distraction. One night, I was helping my son bring all his stuff over for practice and before I left I was chatting with another mom. The boys were all messing around playing catch and mine tripped over someone and fell. Because I was there he made a bigger deal out of it than if I wasn’t. He would have just shook it off and continued to play. Instead he had to come over and tell me what happened.
“Are you ok?”
“Then go back out.”
“Do you need to go to the hospital?”
“Have a good practice.”
Trusting Other Adults
If I was there during practices he might also look over to me for validation on a play instead of getting it from his coach. Sure, I could toss him a nod but if he needs a suggestion to improve, the coach is there for a reason. He is much more knowledgeable about the sport than I am. Plus, if I wanted to coach I would volunteer.
I can’t remember a time in my life when my mom came to my practices. It was nice after a game when she could tell I had improved from the week before. So if I went to every practice how could I tell if my kids are getting better. I feel as if I would just nit pick at the things they need to work on instead of seeing their improvement.
My daughter had a volleyball game this past weekend against a team that walloped hers at the beginning of the season. They won! It was exciting to see the change in their team over the last couple months. Their coach has been preparing the girls for what they needed to work together as a team. By only coming to the games, I saw a HUGE improvement in my daughter’s team over the season. And she was beaming cause she knew how hard they have worked.
I’m happy to leave my kids in the trusting hands of their coaches (who have my phone number) because they have so graciously volunteered their time to work with our kids.
In turn, I trust my kids to be respectful to the adults who are in charge. They know to listen and not mess around during instruction time. I trust that my kids will talk with their teacher/coach if something is wrong. If they need disciplined, the coach will handle it. It’s so cliche but we can’t do this parenting thing alone. It truly does take a village. I trust these adults to keep an eye on my kid and prepare them for skills that only they can teach. More importantly, my kids know they have other adults to turn to when I’m not around.