Thursday, April 25, 2013

Roots and Wings

Roots and wings. They say this is what a good family will provide you.  Stability and independent autonomy.
But nobody tells you exactly how to provide this for your own kids.  

Lately the wing part has been particularly challenging.  I love to see my three-year-old growing up, growing more autonomous, gaining confidence and initiative. 

But sometimes it seems like it goes too far.

It starts out with him cutting soft fruits under my supervision to add to the fruit salad.
Next thing I know, he's standing at the cutting board with a sharp knife trying to cut raw carrots.

It starts out with my encouraging him to use a stool, get his own cup, and dispense water from the external dispenser on the fridge.
Next thing I know, he has used that same stool to climb onto the counters, and then Spider-Man up the cupboard shelves to get more attractive snacks or treats.

It starts out with my letting him face the natural consequences of not putting his shoes on in a timely manner by having to walk to the car barefoot.  The next thing I know, he is in love with running about half-dressed.

It starts out with my giving him easy access to his art supplies. (a decision overturned here) The next thing I know, he has used a blue marker to color in every paint chip on his blue bed.

It starts out with my letting him help me unlock the trunk to get the groceries out.  The next thing I know, he is in the trunk, thinking it grand fun.

It starts out with me seeing him as my baby bird, nudging him to flap his wings a few times and try something new.
Next thing I know, he is piloting a jet plane and I'm caught in the "whoosh" of him buzzing past me.

Not always the kind of wings I have in mind.

What about you? What are your kids doing to test their wings?

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