*This post is personal and not meant to offend anyone, or spark any great "child care" debates. Read at your own risk*
My way of doing things changes every day. Sometimes I feel like a helicopter mom, while others I'm totally free-range. I try hard to be consistent for the kids, but it isn't always possible. Anyway, here are some confessions I have from the "little kid" years.
- I sent kid #1 to daycare when I was on mat leave with kid #2 - purely for my sanity. Kid #1 was such a needy baby I was so concerned that kid #2 would be too, so I kept kid #1 in daycare in the beginning just because I thought I needed to. Once I realized kid #2 was so much more relaxed than my first I could have had her at home more, but she loved her daycare and the other kids, so I left her going full time. This still, to this day, I maintain was the best idea I've had, with regard to my kids, so far!
- I let my kids play alone at the park as early as age 4 (for kid #1) and 3 (for kid #2 out with kid #1). I would still walk them across the street, but then "play on, kids! Come home if you need anything or get hurt."
- I also let my kids cross the street alone at age 5 (for kid #1) and age maybe 3 (for kid #2, when with kid #1). They haven't got hit by a car yet!
- We don't do much "learning specific play" - and by this I mean we don't really sit around and write letters or numbers, or do math in any obvious math-y way. I can sometimes work it into play, but I really didn't focus on learning at home. At least not during the toddler/preschool years.
- Sometimes dinners were (and still are) whatever the kid will eat. Applesauce, goldfish and a cheesestring would be supper some days. I'm not ashamed of this - it was my choice not to have that fight on those nights.
- I still hated bedtimes at this age and stage. Both my girls were drawn-out bedtime kids. A million stories and a huge fuss if I tried to put my foot down. It was much easier to give in and read "just one more story" four or five times until they really were ready to sleep. And it always had to be me. Why? No idea - but I hated it.
- My kids had lots of screen time. TV in the morning, usually more tv in the evening, and sometimes (more rare at this age) phone or computer time. Once they learned how to turn on the tv, all bets were off.
Stay tuned - I may have more confessions as the days go along. Some will be kid-centred, but some may be more me-centric also. Only time will tell where my ramblings take us next time!
What did you allow your toddlers or pre-schoolers to do that you felt may have been frowned upon by society? And did you care? I subscribe to the philosophy of "Hey, it worked for us!" and I try so hard not to judge others on their parenting decisions.
Toodles for now!