Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Response to Owlhaven

This post is thought provoking and the attatched articles worth checking out. So go read it, the following is my response.

It would not be as much what will I never let them have or do as much as it is what I will let them do. I will let them be who they are called to be. I will develop skills that they are naturally drawn to. I feel that in the name of safety we cripple our kids from trying new things. My two year old loves to be in the kitchen with me as I cook. She has made scrambled eggs pretty much by herself. I heard the gasp. Fear not, I was standing right next to her. I taught her where to hold the handle and how to use the spatula. She wanted to learn. I want her to learn. I don't want my kids to be held back out of fear of__________. There will always be something to worry about, if we allow ourselves to worry. My 5 year old also had a desire to learn to cook at a young age. He makes some rockin scambled eggs. And I don't have to be hovering. He has provin himself more than capable to do the task, responsibly and safe. When approached with something out of the norm for their age, I have to take inventory. What is a reasonable boundry for this age? What are my fears, are they valid? How can I stand beside them and aid in developing this skill? As a result I have been amazed at what they really are capable of doing! At 3 my son learned to swim independantly. At 4, ride his bike with no training wheels, shimmy up poles and climb trees. Are you holding your kids back? Why?


owlhaven said...

I LOVE that your kids are learning real skills. That is totally different than renting 13 year olds limos and buying 3 year olds professional pedicures. Skills are part of what we SHOULD be 'giving' our kids! Good for you!

Overwhelmed! said...

I hope that I can give my son SKILLS. It's hard not to want to do everything for them. :)

Christy said...

I love your posts...

Anonymous said...

Your blog makes it all sound so reasonable, BUT there are many, many horrible things that happen to children because of parents who "are not afraid." Parents who are not careful enough.

I can't tell you how many times I have had to care for a neighbor's child, whose parents weren't watching him. Once, in the middle of winter I had to bundle up a naked two year old and carry him home through the snow. His mother didn't even know he had left the house. I had another neighbor who decided to have breakfast by the pool, and her 3 year old silently slipped into the water while my neighbor was having her coffee and glancing at her newspaper. Why worry? He could swim. But he died after being on life support a while.

Adam Walsh's mother took him shopping and didn't keep her eye on him at all times. They later found his severed head and I think they later caught the child molester. He is still dead.

It is dangerous to allow young children to swim without constantly watching them. It is dangerous to not keep them in your sight at all times in public. It is far easier to allow yourself to become distracted. Don't let them go to the restroom alone. The world is more dangerous now than it was.

I know children who have been severely burned by the stove when a parent was not looking. Parent and child both thought he/she knew how to do it safely. My mother was 11 when she was making breakfast for the large family on the farm. She dropped a pan of boiling gravy on her feet and was severely burned.

I personally know two quadrapalygics who fell from a high place as children and broke their necks.

We parents are entrusted by God to watch over our children. It is the ultimate selfishness on the part of a parent not to do this diligently. Remember, once you allow a child to do something, he/she's likely to try it again when you are busy doing your own thing and not watching. Someday your son could be making his "rockin" eggs, catch a napkin on fire, and your precious children could die in the fire.

I know that you probably yearn for time for yourself, to write in your blog and so forth, but remember, this is the season of your life that God wants you to care for those precious children he gave you. A preschooler doesn't need the skill of cooking. There is plenty of time for that when he/she is older.

momteacherfriend said...

Anonymous- Please do not replace guided exploration with neglect. There are definately circumstances of neglect where parents check out of raising their kids, this is not at all that I am speaking about.
I am talking about things your children are gifted in...encourage them to do so safely. I could NEVER take the climb out of my kids. It is in the genes. My grandfather climbed for a living. My father climbed for a living. My husband and I have both climbed for a living. Climbing is a part of who we are. You can refuse children to NEVER do something. You can also hinder their God given talents in doing so.

I do not know the plans God has for my sons life. Yet I can already see how he is equipping him. That is why I mentioned there are choices to be made. What are my fears and are they valid? Do I have a check in my spirit that says "Don't go there." Or is there a release to encourage them in this endevor.

You can not make a blanket rule for children that all must follow. Each one is equipped differently and needs to be raised in a way that brings out the best for that child.

So I will let him swim...as I swim nearby.
I will let him climb...as I watch on.
I will let him cook his rockin eggs...as I stand in the kitchen.
I will remind him of all things safety.
I will encourage him to wear his helmet when he rides his bike.
I will not abandoned or neglect my kids.
I will grow them up in the ways God has planned for them; answering only to Him in all things.

Anonymous said...

My children, too, could swim like fish as pre-schoolers, and also learned to ride a bicycle without training wheels at the age of 4. However, I was much alarmed when you said your son makes scrambled eggs "and I don't have to hover." That is dangerous. It is also dangerous to let a 2 year old use the stove. I believe that common sense would tell you that. You don't know if someday, when you are in your basement sorting clothes, she might decide to make the eggs by herself. She's two, for goodness sake!

As for taking the climb out of them... ALL children that I know want to do that. Most are fine, but some children break their necks and spend the rest of their life in a wheelchair. We have to be diligent.

I am a school teacher and to be perfectly honest with you, I was very concerned about neglect when I read the tone of your blog. I have known too many parents who talk of giving their children freedom, when they themselves want the freedom from having to provide proper supervision.

I can also tell from reading your blog that you love your children, and that you would not hesitate to lay down your life for them. It is just that it is so easy to become distracted, and I know how tiring it is to constantly watch children. You know that the sooner you make them self-reliant the easier your life will be.

We must give our children wings and watch them soar. Still, there is an appropriate age for everything. Some parents want to hold children back and others give them way too much freedom. I suppose it is difficult to find the correct boundaries.

These are some guidelines:

1. Keep an eye on them at all times. Don't let them get far enough away from you that someone could grab them and run, especially in public places.

Don't get busy talking to someone, in person or on the telephone, or get interested in something at which you are looking or reading, and let them wander away.

I am apalled at the parents who let their young children run around in a restaurant or flea market or museum. Those are the children that get snatched.

2. Don't let them use a stove until they are older. Even adults get burned. I am speaking from experience.

3. When in a swimming pool, have one adult for each child, if possible. A little one can slip under silently while you are playing with another one. Also, be careful at lakes, and the bathtub.

4. Watch children who are left in your care equally as diligently as you do your own.

Children are going to do so many dangerous things at all ages that you won't know about, but do your best to teach them about safety. I know that you will. Then PRAY, PRAY, PRAY.

momteacherfriend said...

I thank you for taking such interest im my childrens personal safety. You have made it your personal mission to warn me of the error of my ways.
I have to simply agree to disagree with you on this issue. Have you ever known kids that were restricted from using things so they went behind there parents back? I HAVE. It was so detrimental they nearly died! They lacked basic skills and knowledge of it. They had been told NEVER go near but that did not teach them why. Have my children EVER turned on the stove; NO! I do that for them. I am aware of when and how they use it. My kids are the safest kids around fire...why? Because they have been taught a healthy fear and respect of it. My two year old has cooked at the stove once. She learned that YES it is hot. She learned this is how mommy does it to be safe...she holds the handle. She uses a spatula not her hands to touch the hot food. Taking the mystery out of potential dangers shows kids you respect them and that you care about them. Going over rules gives them healthy boundries. I asked my son last night. Do you ever cook on your own? NO Do you ever climb without an adult with you. NO Do you ever ride your bike without your helmet? Sometimes. You know you need to wear your helmet right? Yes Why? To be safe

I think he gets it.

momteacherfriend said...

Also- Don't need to hover means I don't need to have my hand on the pan. I can be present without HOVERING. I did hover in the beginning just as with 2 year old. It is a weaning process.
By the way did you go watch the Mali video of the 7 year old starting the fire, mixing the meal and completely cooking it for her family? If you have not, I highly recommend that you do.

Anonymous said...

I am concerned about the safety of all children. Mine, yours, the neighbors.... When you publish an online blog you have to realize that not everyone will agree with you all the time.

We all do the best we can for our children. We have all made mistakes. We must use our best judgment and pray for wisdom.

If my comments have caused you to pause and rethink the wisdom of allowing a 2 year old to use a stove, all the better. At least I have tried.

I am sorry your feelings are hurt. We do not see eye to eye on this. I feel that God gives children to parents so that we may watch out for them, guide them, and protect them while they are small.

momteacherfriend said...

My feelings are not hurt. I enjoy getting behind the mind of others that think differently than I do. I do not appreciate accusations that I lack common sense, for I do have much common sense and use it daily!

You challenge my childraising..which is fine. Yet looking back I would not do it any differently. Not a bit. My 5 year old asked to help with breakfast this morning. I let him. His sister and him took turns mixing the pancake batter. I poured it on the skillet. He watched, paitently, then turned them by him self with the spatula. I stood there the whole time. And it was a conformation of doing it right for OUR FAMILY. We chatted as he cooked. About when to turn them. Looking for the bubbles, then the side changing texture. The slight steam that comes right when they are ready to be flipped. He flipped with such care. I was so proud. They were perfect. They really were. And it is all a progression. Baby steps to maturity. They begin somewhere...or at least one would hope.

Side note: I saw on a cooking show the other day a professional chef that was 7 when he wrote his first cookbook...he started cooking when he was 2 or 3. It was pretty amazing. At age 7 he went to culinary school with serious chefs (during the summer) and learned the ways of a knife and other kitchen utensils. Now as a teeneage he is one of the head chefs in a restuarant. It is his passion. He is a genius at it. He excels at what he does. And he gets paid well for it too. Thankfully he wasn't held back.

momteacherfriend said...

The kids name is Justin Miller...do a google on him.
Make sure to include the word chef on your search as there is also a pro football player of the same name. One write up I just read was he started cooking at 18 months.

This link has his employment history. Pretty impressive for a 15 year old.