Thursday, February 17, 2011


The air is filled with that sound. The sound of helicopter parents.

THWUMP THWUMP THWUMP as they carry their kids' backpacks and lunchboxes after school

THWUMP THWUMP THWUMP as they put away their kids' laundry

THWUMP THWUMP THWUMP as they zip up every jacket, button every pair of jeans and tie every shoe

THWUMP THWUMP THWUMP as they micromanage how their children can sit, stand, talk, sing and play

Here's a little friendly advice from your friend Kim: back away from your children. You're not preparing your kids for the real world of immediate, logical consequences and creative problem solving by hovering over them every minute of the day. If you spend 90% of your interaction with your kids telling them what to do and how to do it, why are you surprised when they stop listening? If your significant other or best friend spent all your time together nagging you about the way you exist, when you were just doing your best, you would stop listening, too.

Let's talk about logical consequences a little bit. When your kid is 28, and working, and the boss asks him or her to complete a task, what do you think will happen? Either your kid does it, or not. Boss isn't going to give reminders. Boss isn't going to walk Kid through it. If it's not done on time, Kid will be reprimanded or fired. You can't step in to save Kid at that point. All you can do is raise your kid to understand consequences and the power of his or her choices.

I've been really getting into Love & Logic lately specifically for this reason. Love and Logic is about making your word "gold" instead of "garbage." Request something one time, and pray you don't screw it up by endlessly reminding your progeny (or the kids you nanny, in my case) and see what happens. I'm not nagging anymore, we're all having fun and the best part? It works.

I'm not saying that I don't worry about my kid, or that the littles I watch sometimes don't really get on my nerves. ("Miss Kim, is it snack time? Miss Kim? MISS KIM?"--"What time do you think it is?") But what I am saying is that when I let go of the fear of everything not being perfect, I enjoy spending time with kids more. I fully intend to raise Caroline as a Free-Range Kid. I'd rather teach her that she is able to solve her problems and take care of herself than teacher her that I'm in control.

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