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Thursday, March 17, 2011

Overprotective Parent.....Or, Just Not As Permissive?

The weather today in our city was absolutely amazing. So, like any normal stay-at-home, work-at-home, homeschooling parent, I took the kids to the park. We drove up to discover what I had feared - That the place was packed with kids on spring break enjoying their first nice day all week. So, I braced myself for a crowded day instead of our typical leisurely day of not many people. The kids and I began our walk around the lake, which is what I talk them into doing first since it's my only form of exercise before sitting for an hour or so watching them play on the playground. Before this, however, we stopped to eat at the pavilion. While sitting there eating, this little girl kept wandering away from her mother who was engaged in a conversation with another mother. She would every so often call her back or warn her to look out for a car. But, she was much too far away for my comfort.

On the way around the path, we were almost hit head-on by a child on a skateboard, followed by another carrying his and a mother walking in between smiling. There were more people to dodge before making our way over the bridge and onto the path that runs around the lake. Before we knew it, we heard the sound of rapidly approaching boys on bikes and a father following. Almost as quickly as they passed us, the one boy toppled over into the mud. While the dad was tending to the muddy handle bars and muddy boy, the older boy made his way down to the lake and was standing on a rock dam, and began throwing rocks. My heart sunk. All I could envision was this boy tragically falling into the lake and drowning while the dad casually tended to the muddy boy. My eyes stayed peeled on this child until the dad was able to get to him. No harm was done. No tragedy averted. No tragedy occurred. But, my children remarked at how they were not comfortable with that boy being so close to the water by himself. Have I instilled fear in my children? I don't know. But, I do know from observing these park-going families that I am much less permissive or relaxed than others with wandering children just having fun.

So, am I overly protective? Or, am I just not permissive? Did waiting till my 30's to have children instill a sense of caution I would not have had I bore them at a younger age? I don't know. But, if I do know, as I told my son, that enough catastrophes occur which I have no control over....I want to be careful not to let any happen which I can control.

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