Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Am I Really Being Overprotective?

I've been accused of being overprotective.  I've been told that I'm sheltering the kids.  When I hear those phrases flung at me like accusations of bad parenting, I want to say thank you in response.  I am overprotective and I do shelter the kids.  That's my job.

No, I don't have the boys wrapped in bubble wrap.  But they do wear helmets anytime they are on wheels (bike, scooter, skateboard, etc.).  They play outside in our subdivision, but they aren't allowed in anyone else's home.  They participate in activities outside our homeschool, but aren't dropped off anywhere and left.  
You can call it being overprotective.  I call it being a Mom.

Honestly, my question to you is---why aren't you overprotective?  

I don't want to judge your parenting skills in public because if I'm being brutally honest, I'm likely already doing so in my head.  I shouldn't judge, I shouldn't compare or complain, but it's a shortcoming I have.  I don't ask why you work instead of stay home or why you send your kids to school instead of keeping them at home, because those are personal choices.  Why is it ok for you to judge me for protecting my children?

I read the news plastered all over the internet.  Don't say bad stuff can't or won't happen where I live because it does.  Every single day.  I can't control other people's actions or choices anymore than I can make the sun shine on a rainy day.  What I can do is to try to keep my children out of situations where they could be a target of someone's bad decisions.  

Do I worry about them being sick, hurt, or injured?  Yes, I do...on a daily basis.  Worry is another one of my character flaws.  I hate the thought of one of my sons being in physical pain or being sick.  I read about families online who had a healthy, active child one day and the next day they were doing research on childhood cancer.  I'm not disillusioned to think that we are immune to bad news.  

As Adisson embarks on his journey of Boy Scouts, I have to learn to let him go and let him grow.  I will do that, in my time.  I will be present in his Troop meetings when possible so I can be informed.  I will get to know his Scoutmasters as I will be entrusting one of my greatest gifts in this life to their care as he learns to obtain his Scouting goals.  I will ensure that we are all comfortable with new situations, allowing to be pushed out of our comfort zone just a little at a time.  

I was blessed far beyond measure to have three sons.  They are undoubtedly the greatest miracles in my life. I limit the stories they hear on the news, the articles they read online, and the lyrics they hear on the radio.  I keep them in our neighborhood.  I teach them to think about the consequences of their actions and how to interact with other people.

I'm a far cry from a perfect parent and I know my way of parenting is vastly different from yours.  But when you call me overprotective, know that is just what I intended.   

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