I’m a member of Clever Girls and received this book for free in exchange for my honest review.
Most of the time I feel like I’m a bad mom because I’m willing to let my kid get hit by the kid swinging on the swings after I’ve told him repeatedly to not walk in front of or behind the swings because he’ll get a boo-boo.
I’m the mom that heartbreakingly has watched her baby boy struggle to play at the playground because all he wants is mommy to hold him, but she can’t and won’t because he has to learn how to play without me.
It’s not easy being the mom that doesn’t panic when her son falls off the playground, trips and falls, or gets kicked in the face by the kid on the swings. I don’t enjoy seeing my babies in pain and I don’t enjoy watching them struggle to interact with other children from afar.
Trust me, I want to stand next to my child telling them how to play, making sure they don’t fall and get a boo-boo, making sure they are playing nice with other children, but I can’t. I can’t because how will they ever learn to interact as an adult without me directing their every move? I’m a firm believer that it is okay to allow your children to play by themselves that you don’t have to play with them 24/7.
Sure, there are moments where I have to step in and take control of a situation but I always allow my child to try to control the situation first. I’ve always said that I’m not raising a child, I’m raising a child to grow into a man and a man cannot rely on mommy and daddy forever. He has to be able to take care of himself, his wife, and his family and my boys will not be able to do that if I’m making every decision for them and rescuing them every time they struggle.
Apparently, this makes me a “free-range” mama. I seriously had no idea that term even existed until about two weeks ago. That means that I’m opposite a helicopter mom and in some people’s eyes means I’m neglectful. Truthfully, this is what I hate most about society. I don’t care how you’re raising your kids so long as you don’t judge me for how I raise mine.
This is how I was raised but not all my peers were raised the same way. You see my mama is older than many of my friend’s parents because she struggled for many years to conceive. Which means that my mom was a child in 50’s unlike most of my friend’s parents that were children in the mid to late 60’s and early 70’s. The difference is that my mom was raised that mommy and daddy were not going to hold their hands throughout life and my mom raised my brother and I the same way.
Did we enjoy that as kids, not having mommy to save us every time a teacher reprimanded us or felt that “life wasn’t fair”? No, we hated it and sometimes we resented our mom for it but we are better adults because of it. I’ve mentioned many times here that when I was suffering from financial hell, I asked my mom to save me, which wasn’t easy for me to do, and she told me “no”. Many of my friend’s parents felt she was wrong for doing that, but she was right. She gave me the wings I needed to solve my own problems by raising me my entire life to know what it felt like to fail and to struggle. She didn’t shelter me from bad things, she didn’t save me from every problem I encountered, she didn’t direct me on which path I was supposed to take in life. She let me figure it out on my own and I’m so very grateful that she did.
I would have never been able to pull myself out of financial hell without my mom allowing me to do it myself. It wasn’t easy, in fact it was a dark and scary time for me, but I learned so much more from going through it and feeling the pain of taking responsibility for my mistakes than I would have if my mom had bear that burden for me.
That is what I loved about reading How to Raise an Adult; it gives extensive research and facts to help parents raise college-ready and real world ready kids. It showcases how we are not doing them any favors by calling their boss and demanding that our child be given a raise and we certainly aren’t doing them any favors by doing their homework for them (all things I’ve seen happen in real life). Julie showcases in her book how she saw so many college students unable and unprepared for the real world because mommy and daddy had swooped in too many times to save them.
We prepare them for the real world by allowing them to grow wings during their childhood and allow them to be independent. Julie was once the Dean of Freshman and Undergraduate Advising at Stanford University and has seen far too many students come through her office that were only there because their parents told them it was the best option. .
I’ve seen firsthand what she’s referring to because I moved out at 18 years old, when I went back to school, I was baffled by the whiners and those that called their parents every time they didn’t like the professor. I’ve even seen parents come into a college class and cause a disruption. In the working world that doesn’t work because your boss doesn’t care if you like them or not. It’s your job to figure out your problems not rely on someone else to do it for you.
The thing is, we’re not bad moms or dads for letting our kids struggle, face fears, and figure out things on their own. We’re allowing them to carve their own path in life by doing this and we’re setting them up for success as an adult later in life.
I encourage you that if you’ve been struggling with the bad mom mentality because you’ve allowed your child to feel pain and suffer consequences for their actions to read Julie’s book. It will uplift you and help to identify how to best prepare your son or daughter for the real world and especially how to prepare them for college.
What is your best tip for raising an adult?
I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.
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