My big kid’s told me earlier how excited she feels for being able to do so much on her own now that we’re here in Europe...
What she meant was stuff most of us don’t necessarily think about:
- go to a restaurant restroom on her own
- use a slide in a water park on her own
- go to a playground on her own
- go to a gymnastics class on her own
(all still in my sight, tho)
What she meant was the stuff most of 5-year olds don’t get to experience in the USA.
I have to admit, it took me a while to adjust because in New York, as much I have resisted the fact, we developed this helicopter parenting.
And I have honestly thought I wasn’t even all that “bad.”
But the look on her face, the glow in her eyes said it all: she is finally staring to trust herself and feels that sense of purpose, independence, pride - and was already sad for the fact that when we get back to NY, she won’t be able to go to and from a bus stop on her own just yet...
I know a lot of factors are at play, but the bottom line raises a question: how does this overprotecting, helicoptering, isolating ever help our kids?
I get that some is necessarily but how much is just an overreaction?
Because if at 5 years old she already is aware of this empowering feeling, what do 10-, 15-, 20-year olds who had never had such experience growing into?
What is the solution?