On the weekend I took my daughter to a children’s production. It was a lovely story of a dad, with a wild imagination who got up to all kinds of mischief.
At the beginning of the play, the father is asleep on the floor, all the children were sitting on cushions up front and the actress who was playing the daughter, tried to get some of the children to come up and help wake him up. He was snoring the house down.
I was stunned, not one single child, except my own, would go up and join in. What the hell were they scared of and why were they so timid, their parents were within a metre of them and it was a safe, fun environment. Sadly, this isn’t the first time I’ve seen this!
This is not an opportunity for me to boast about how confident my daughter is, as this has many challenges in itself and according to research ‘kids who are so “independent” are far more likely to use drugs or alcohol, be sexually active, and have other problems’. So I’m screwed either way really.
I’ve never been good at articulating this (maybe I shouldn’t blog) and I’ve tried to have this conversation with friends before but it didn’t go down very well, one of those lead balloon moments, maybe it was a bit too close to home. I often see mums peeling their children off them at the school gate. The mum’s do seem stressed, but I also get the sneaking suspicion that they like it and have a need to be needed.
Is this another result of overprotective parenting? If so, how and why does this happen: Do mums now base their own self worth on their children’s deeds, so if the child fails they feel they have, were they insecure as a child/adult themselves, were their own parents overprotective or do they worry that if they don’t others will judge them as bad parents? Seriously tell me why!!!
Obviously, like any parent we want to protect our children from harm but I really don’t think we’re doing our children any favours by passing on our own insecurities. This isn’t mothering it’s smothering!
I’d love to hear your thoughts on this. Am I way off the mark? If you have a clingy child can you see anything that you did early on that may have caused it? If you could do it again would you do it differently? Do you prefer your child to be more cautious?