I watch as my youngest peddles his little car around with his feet, Flintstone-style. Except he can only go backwards.
And before I can stop him, he rolls off the driveway and into the grass, which is quite a drop off.
I start to jump up to help him, but I think of my desire to let go of control.
He’s my youngest kid, and it’s easy to hover over him. At 2, he only recently weaned from nursing and he still thinks of himself as my baby. And so do I.
So I wait.
And I watch.
He pushes his car back onto the driveway and he’s ready to drive again.
He rolls backwards and off the driveway again. Into the grass. Again.
And still I watch from the lawn chair, with a book in my hand.
He puts his car on the driveway again, but this time, he has learned.
He’s nowhere near the edge this time. He has room to roll backwards with no consequences.
And he did it without mommy’s help.
He needs room to make mistakes and he needs time to correct them himself. He may correct it imperfectly the first time, but with a little practice, he’ll learn.
We have to give our children freedom to fail.
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