Spoilt kids and stressed parents

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One mother-blog I follow, wrote about us spoiling our kids and not letting them do things we did when we were their age. It resonated with me very much. I always feel I am not letting Lennon do what he wants because I’m supposed to be scared he might hurt himself, fail or just about what other people might say. Why do I do that?! Its crazy!

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When I lived in Cape Town, South Africa, I felt unsafe a lot of the time. And when I got back here to Berlin, it was like a heavy weight was lifted off my shoulders because of me feeling much safer. Now I hear, in this blog I read, that she wouldn’t let her son walk the streets of Berlin, or just to kindergarten or school by himself. And he is something like 4 or 5 years old. I used to do that all the time when I was that age. Ok it wasn’t as big of a place like Berlin, but I feel like our parents trusted us more and knew we were gonna be fine. Especially after having lived in a country like South Africa, it kind of seems weird to feel scared for our kids. Maybe Berlin isn’t as safe as my hometown Lübeck, but its a whole lot safer than where I lived the last 6 years.

Do we over-protect our children? I do think so. I do think we have become parents that say ‘No’ more than ‘Yes’ to the instincts of our kids. We let them talk, misbehave, throw uncontrolled tantrums and let them be rude to the ice cream man. But I find that we try to constantly stop them in their movements, eagerness to climb, throw things and to test their boundaries physically and emotionally.

What happened to good old teaching ‘right’ and ‘wrong’ by letting the explore with little guidance by us? Why do we think we have to constantly talk, explain, discuss and analyse with our kids. I thought we were the parents and we had the say. What happened to that? Since when does a child get to make the choice when we are eating, going somewhere or what cloths he/she wants to wear. It really boggles my mind and I am starting to wonder what kind of people we are raising. *Hugs and Kisses*

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3 thoughts on “Spoilt kids and stressed parents

  1. This is an interesting post for me, because it calls for certain types of freedoms and wonders at the wisdom of others, and I’m trying to pick out the common theme. Some of what you say surprises me.

    For example, I actively encourage my children to choose their own clothes because a) why not and b) I really want them to be completely independent when it comes to getting dressed ASAP and this includes being able to choose their clothing without help in a timely manner. I’ve got enough to do! So it surprises me to see that one there.

    The balance between independence and control is a delicate one. Many things (parent/child/culture/values/physical and social environment) influence our decisions and all parents are frequently wrong. It’s good to continually question but unfortunately I haven’t seen any conclusions I can cling to yet.

    • Hey, thanks for taking the time to comment. I was thinking and writing in a very general sense about what I have been observing around me. I live in a part of Berlin where parents seem to let the children rule and not the other way around. Not we should rule our children, but it seems like they discuss everything, from when and why to put gumboots on, to why they can not throw sand in other people faces. I just feel like that sometimes less words and more actions is a different way. I don’t see why I would discuss with my 20 month year old about a rain jacket whens its raining outside. Everything in moderation and whatever works for the family.
      You are right. It was quite a post about wondering about parenting. I come from a very strict household and I have been wondering about how I should raise my son. So far I have been trying to find a good balance between the strict and the laissez-fair approach.

      • Yes, I think effective discussion needs to be age-appropriate, at the least! Long talks to kids who don’t have the cognitive skills are just misplaced, and actions will be better. Discussions about why we don’t do nasty things to people are not going to get very far if the child hasn’t at least developed to the point of realising that others have their own perspective (usually 3-4 years old), for example!

        Even with adults, teaching by telling is often not very effective, and for some skills more than others (you can’t learn to drive if you don’t get behind the wheel). It’s worth remembering this as parents – not that you’d let anyone behind the wheel to do whatever they’d like, either!

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