I believe it is a common perspective parents have, that we know much more than our children do.
We have had a lot more years of life experience and we may be experts in our respective careers, industry, and businesses.
We obviously love our children and have only good intentions for them.
Yet sometimes we do risk being our children's stumbling block when we try too hard to protect them or impose our personal beliefs and ambitions upon them.
Your baby might only be a few months old now, but it's certainly not too early to decide for yourself, not to be a stumbling block to your child.
I have to admit sometimes I can be a stumbling block. It happens when I get too paranoid and fearful when my toddler is at the playground.
He's trying to explore independently but my fear of him falling or injuring himself makes me want to keep holding on to him or telling him to stop.
There could also be seemingly insignificant instances like my toddler taking things out from my bag and making a mess on the floor.
It's easy to want to stop him and clear up the mess. But he's really just being curious and perhaps wants to role-play me using my grown-up things.
It is easy to be a parent and see our child from an adult's perspective. But it is certainly not easy to see our child from their perspective, which is typically very different from ours.
As much as we want to protect our child, keep them from harm, or do our best to keep the home organized, we do need to learn to let go sometimes and allow our child space and freedom to explore, create, and express their unique creativity and personality.
Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear. – Ephesians 4:29
1. Your child is stronger than you think
I remember being shocked at the way the nurses were handling my baby right after my first delivery.
The nurses could easily hold the baby with one arm and flip him over with ease.
His tiny body seemed so very fragile to me and I was worried even when I held him with both arms so I simply couldn't fathom how the nurses could have handled my baby in such a different manner!
Over time I have come to realize that, indeed, my baby is much stronger and tougher than he looks.
Just think of all the different growth milestones that are achieved by a baby in their first year of life!
Perhaps they don't know enough to be fearful or that their brains don't remember painful incidents. But all these contribute to a baby's sense of adventure and curiosity of the world around them!
It seems inevitable that because of our immense love for our children, we want to make sure they don't suffer any pain or injury, as much as it is within our control.
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However, falling and failing are part and parcel of growing up and picking up new skills.
We must remember that our children are much stronger and tougher than we think, despite their petite packages.
2. We cannot control everything
As a new mom, I was highly paranoid and regimental.
I was rigid about my baby's routines and particular about the way my parents managed my baby when he was in their care.
I would get very frustrated when things didn't go my way and felt miserable all too often.
I think as mothers, we all have very good reasons about sticking to a routine that is set for our child.
Studies have shown that routines greatly helping in fostering a sense of security for the baby because they know what to expect through the day.
For new parents especially, routines help us with managing logistics and also planning our schedules so that we can have some semblance of organization and peace in a life that has been messed up by the arrival of a new baby.
Having a routine was empowering for me as a new mom.
After all, my life was pretty much turned upside when my baby was born, and being able to control a routine kept me afloat in all mess of the baby business.
However, I became too engrossed with grasping onto the controls that I reacted negatively every time something didn't go as I had planned.
A baby's fall was my fault.
A mess was my fault.
Something could have been done.
If only I had done something.
Putting aside the fact that human errors can be eliminated with proper planning and care, it is still not possible to have a control over everything!
It doesn't take long before you realize your newborn has a mind of their own.
As much as they depend on you for their survival, they most definitely would show their displeasure when something doesn't go down their alley!
So the hard truth is, we simply cannot control everything. As parents, we need to learn to be okay with that.
My advice to parents who are struggling with their first kid?
To have another baby!
I mean it as a joke but it is not without truth!
Because when you have the second child, typically, you become less uptight because you are either too busy to be micro-managing and have simply learned enough from the child that you simply cannot control everything!
3. It's okay to let go
After knowing that your baby is tougher than you think and that you simply cannot control everything, what's next?
Take heart that it's okay to let go!
Set safe boundaries for your child to explore and then give them the freedom to do so!
It is extremely encouraging for a young child to know that they have their parents' support in trying out new things and taking a new step of exploration.
Our young child needs to have the confidence to venture and knowing that the parent is nearby is a great motivation!
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After all, we cannot always be there for our kids. Therefore, it is important to build confidence in our child from the early days.
It means we want our children to know that they have our utmost support and we will be there to help them if they ever need.
Most importantly, they have the freedom to explore and express their individuality.
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