How much freedom do you give your children? When is it too much or too little?

This is something I ponder over now and again with babe (my toddler of 22 months), generally I’m all for giving her freedom to learn from her own mistakes.  But then sometimes I am afraid that I’m almost airing  on the side of irresponsible and then reign her back in.

Babe measuring sultanas

The truth is, I feel like I know my daughter well  and understand her capabilities and her knowledge of the world, and am therefore able to access pretty accurately the line between giving her freedom and being a totally irresponsible mother. I know some onlookers who don’t have this insight are judging me poorly, but I feel that its important for her learning to provide that freedom.

Babe kinda washing the dishes

I do feel bad sometimes when she has slipped over and banged her chin on one of those occasions of freedom time, but then that’s all part of the learning curve isn’t it? Learning consequences. I reference consequences  in a very managed way, we all learned not to put our hands into a flame by touching the hot pan on top of it by accident, not by thrusting our hands into the flame.

My own mother was great at giving my sister and I the freedom to learn from our own mistakes and I am very grateful for that – we were also able to have some amazing experiences that not every kid got to enjoy.

I am pleased to say, that I can already see the benefits. She’s the go-getting, no messing, always try new things, kinda of girl that I have been aspiring her to be. And I really don’t think she’d be like this if I molly coddled her all the time.

Babe making Danish Pastries

Sometimes the topic does come under debate with others. So I’m really keen to hear what your experiences and views are on this topic?

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3 thoughts on “How much freedom do you give your children? When is it too much or too little?

  1. Mark says:

    Freedom! You are the best judge at this age… Trust your instinct. Time for being the harsh parent will come as they wnt to explore a little too much!

  2. Mary says:

    I definitely agree. I used to teach Music in secondary school and these are exactly the life skills that we wished they had when they arrive at age 11. Learning to handle money, learning people/social skills, respect, small motor skills (honestly, in some that is absent). I will be doing the same! ;o)
    Mary
    @LincolnAndMe

  3. Azure Skyyes says:

    I used this approach with my son..though I didn’t want him to burn himself and gave him the proper warning..don’t touch that cookie sheet it’s hot…when he reached for it when my back was turned and burned his fingers, he learned quickly that a hot cookie sheet equals painful fingers..it still works today..he knows that driving a car irresponsibly can lead to an accident and possibly death as a teacher of his died in a car accident right when he was getting his drivers license, so far he has been a very cautious driver..*fingers crossed*..It is good to protect your kids, but letting natural consequences happen leads to life long learning!

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