A mother’s natural instinct is to nurture and protect her child. Now that my son is mobile, he is constantly underfoot. He wants to explore his surroundings, test his boundaries, and try out new skills. He is displaying a curious and daring streak. As a result, my son has had a few bumps and falls. Thankfully nothing serious. We’ve baby-proofed our place as much as possible and I try to keep a watchful eye on him as he prowls around. But, I don’t run to him immediately when I see that he’s about to fall. Why? I want him to test his limitations, learn perseverance, and experience achievement. It’s sounds counter-intuitive I know. You want to be protective of your child and prevent him from harm. But I sincerely believe that he needs to trust himself and learn some things on his own.
Don’t get me wrong. I would NEVER intentionally let my child get hurt. But if you have been around children, you would know what happens after they fall. There’s that five seconds of stunned silence. It’s not until you ask them, “Are you hurt?”, that they start wailing. It’s like they know that if they cry, they’ll get something good out of it. A bad habit to get into.
I do second-guess myself sometimes. It’s so hard not to pick him up after he loses his balance. It would be easier to just stick him in his playard so he wouldn’t get into anything. One time, my son got his hand caught in a door. Of course, he HOWLED. I felt like the WORST mother on Earth! At that moment, if you had to put me on a list of bad mothers, I would be at the top and Britney Spears would be second. That’s how horrible I felt. But after five minutes, he was just fine and immediately become engrossed with a stainless steel mixing bowl. Oooh, shiny!
So I know that it will get worse as he grows up. Do I coddle him? Or do I let him figure things out for himself? Am I being cautious? Or am I being over-protective? I guess all I can do is teach him have good judgment and be there when he falls.