Posts Tagged ‘failure’

The Risk in Helicopter Parenting

Friday, September 18th, 2015

FullSizeRenderIn a world where we have evolved from allowing our kids to walk home from school without CPS calls, into a population with a vitamin D deficiency from never allowing our children to play outside, it is no wonder that “helicopter parenting” exists. When you are responsible for a tiny human life, a life belonging to a tiny human you also happen to be quite fond of, it is easy to slip into hyper vigilance to try to feel a sense of control over all the things that feel so out of your control.

There is a line, though, and the research is showing that while helicopter parenting  may limit some harms, it also comes with its own set of problems. Crime has decreased, and we now know that children are a lot more likely to be hurt by a relative than a stranger, but still we hover. Medicine has advanced and death by injury has been cut in half, but we hover. We hover, and we push. Are they meeting their milestones? Are they in a good enough school? Should they take violin, Mandarin, and what about that toddler chemistry course that counts toward college credit?

The danger in getting hurt, and the danger in failure, add weight to the already heavy responsibility of parenting. So we hover, because we want the world for our kids, and we hover because we want to keep our kids safe from the world.

The problems that accompany this level of intense parenting though include depression and anxiety as they get older. By protecting our kids from the dangers of the world, we prevent the existence of any space for them to learn how to function in the world.

We take them from free play so they can go to piano, and they miss out on learning social skills. We put them on literal leashes to keep from losing them at the mall, and they don’t learn how to look out for red flags on their own. Most of all, we make all the decisions for them, and they learn that they cannot be trusted to make decisions for themselves.

It’s hard. It’s scary. There is so much at stake. But in allowing our kids to fall, we let them learn that they can get back up, and we teach them that they are valuable no matter where they land.

Keighty Brigman is terrible at crafting, throwing birthday parties, and making sure there isn’t food on her face. Allegedly, her four children manage to love her anyway

Fighting the Failure Mindset

Wednesday, August 26th, 2015

Fighting the Failure MindsetLet’s just start with me being honest: I am not qualified to write this blog. As I sit here in my home, I am truly feeling like a failure. My 3-year-old just hit her baby brother. There are random toys all over my living room floor. I just put a Disney movie on so I could get a break and get a blog or two done.

As women we were born to be moms. I have never felt something so strong. But I do have my bad days. I lose my patience. I raise my voice. I spank my child when I say I won’t. I forget to dwell on the positive. Anyone else ever feel this way?

It’s so hard to fight this mindset. From the moment we become a mom, we are faced with expectations. Will you breastfeed? Are you using cloth diapers? Did your baby come into the world naturally? Did you circumcise? Will you bed share? Are you letting your baby cry it out? Are you using rice cereal? When will you start solids? As our kids grow, the questions and lists get longer. None of us can be perfect people, but we are the perfect parent for our children. Your children are yours for a reason.

So when this mindset creeps in, what do we do? Give into it? I admit, some days I do. Some days I just want to be a hermit and hide and think about how my children will probably grow up hating me and thinking about how horrible mommy was. Then, I have a reality check.

My kids have toys–lots of them. So far today, they are wearing clean clothes and have had two meals. We’ve been to the local YMCA where they could play and laugh and learn. So far, this day isn’t a failure. There are so many blessings right in front of us. Why do we miss them? I think it’s because we just forget to look.

Am I a perfect mom? No. I’ve made many mistakes today and I would love to be able to reverse them, but I’m not a failure. I’m here for my kids. I’m here to play, to kiss away the boo-boos, and nurse and rock my little boy. I’m here for comfort. I’m here for protection.

I may not have it right today, and I can assure you tomorrow will bring its own challenges, but I am not a failure. You, mom, you are not a failure. You are a work-in-progress. You are the perfect mom for your children.

You are loved.

You are enough.

Karyn Meyerhoff is a mom of two in Northeast Indiana who loves her kids more than anything.