Building Confidence & Independence

Some of my favorite parenting ideas have developed from others.  My playground philosophies come mostly from Free Range Kids.  I also LOVED this article that circulated around facebook and mom's groups a while ago!

You already know that I let the kids stomp in the puddles and play outside alone...

So.  It was sunny, warm, and semi-dry this week - so the playground it was!

I have some playground philosophies that continue to develop - but really I only have ONE playground rule.

My Playground Rule:
If you can't do something, you're probably not ready for it.  
When you are ready you will be able to do it.

I had this philosophy from when D was a baby.  Sure I did the obligatory slide him down the slide, but once he could walk, he was on his own to explore the playground.  

Have they fallen?  Absolutely.  
I guess I value the getting back up part.

It's why I don't lift my kids up ladders to the top of the slide.
Why I won't hold them across the monkey bars.
It's why I don't climb their legs up a rope.

It's not that I don't care, or am too busy gossiping (I mean I am gossiping - but it's not why I don't do those things).

I want my kids to do things when they are ready.
  • I think it's safer.
  • I think it is more satisfying for my children to know they can do something on their own.
  • I trust that my kids know their limits.
  • They have plenty of fun no matter what they can and cannot do this instant at the playground.
  • Their limits and talents are NOT the same as other kids and that's ok.  Just because someone else is ready to climb the ladder doesn't mean they are.
  • I like to watch them problem solve and work things out.
  • I know they can solve <most of> their own disagreements.
I know if I trust them to do these things, they will exceed my expectations.  I know it will instill them with a sense of confidence and that it will nurture their independence in a safe way.

For my kids, I guess I just don't think that lifting kids up is 'helping' them.  
I think it is telling them, 'I know you can't do this on your own' 'let me do this for you.' 

So with that said, I am sure you can speculate how I feel about other moms 'helping' my kids at the playground. 

I don't blame them, I'm certainly not angry, I know their heart is in the right place (and what the heck must they think of me!? haha - she won't get off her bum and lift her own kid up the slide) - really - I hadn't thought about it until today when I watched someone lift my son up something he was trying desperately to climb on his own.  

I just wished they saw the pride in my son's eyes when he CAN do something for the first time (look below and you can see it too!).

Last week when we went to the playground for the first time since last year, D climbed up the 'rocks' by himself.  He was so proud of himself.  He shouted from the top "I did it" "Mom look at me!" 

It told me that last year when I decided not to 'help' it was worth it.



Sarah said...

Thanks for sharing this! I read it yesterday morning and then thought about it last night when my boys asked if they could go play with the little boy who lives around the corner from our house. I typically tell them he has to come to our house, but this time I had my older son put on his watch and gave them a time to be home and told them to stay together. They came back on time, we told them how responsible they were and they felt great! We also learned that we can let them spread their wings a little more. Thanks!

KT @ OneOrganicMama said...

Ahhhh Sarah I love it! At almost 4 and 1 I can't imagine my two around the corner - but what a wonderful gift of trust you gave your boys! I am so glad they rose to the occasion!! Fantastic!

Randi~Dukes and Duchesses said...

I like that philosophy ... and I think there's a lot of truth to it. If they really want to do something, they'll persevere until they get it ... and that's a great lesson. Thanks for linking up at Project Inspire{d}.

KT @ OneOrganicMama said...

It certainly doesn't work in every situation and for every child, but for this child and this situation - I am SO glad I did it!

Anonymous said...

I love this! It reminds me of a "sharing" article I read recently, we should encourage them to do activities when they are developmentally able! http://moms.popsugar.com/Should-You-Teach-Kids-Share-27333250

KT @ OneOrganicMama said...

Thanks!!! I appreciate the link too :)

Shaffer Sisters said...

I love this! I found your blog through Mums Make List, we are having a Special parenting link up this month, I am going to add this and a few of your other parenting posts to this list:
If you would like it removed please e-mail me. If you would like to add more we would more than welcome it. Thank you for sharing positive and real messages about parenting.

Charise @ I Thought I Knew Mama said...

Love this and totally agree! Pinning.

Thanks for linking up at The Tuesday Baby Link Up!

KT @ OneOrganicMama said...

Awesome! :)

Monica Pruett said...

Great tips from a mom who knows. :-) Thanks for linking up at Family Fun Friday.

KT @ OneOrganicMama said...


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