I read something in one of those French parenting books that kids can play without our constant intervention. How is that possible? How can a child know what to do on a playground, if we don’t show them? What will the French think of next, that kids will eat anything? Balderdash.
For the 4 years after my daughter was walking, we climbed too small ladders, slid down narrow, kid-booty sized slides, and bumped our heads on crossbars. Despite the glaring architectural red flags, I insisted that it was necessary. How in the world was she supposed to walk, climb, slide on her own?
Did you know that kids can play on a playground without our help? I’m amazed. Are you? It’s not like I’m sitting on a park bench enjoying some coffee simultaneously taking candid pictures while my toddler plays on the playground without me. Because that would be wrong. Right? So wrong.
A crazy thing happens when you decide not to hover, they figure out a lot of things on their own. Not everything, but a lot. Something else happens. It was 30 minutes of bliss. I was happy, my little boy was happy. Pure bliss.
Lest this come across as judgmental or as some attempt at selling myself as perfect, I should mention that I absolutely wiped down the wet and muddy slides.
Yes, I did.
I may hover a little less, but I can’t get rid of neurotic tendencies that drive me to wipe down a playground slide with a wet wipes. Perfection will always allude me. Alas, such is life.