Friday, July 26, 2013

You are not the boss of me
I enjoy reading parenting books. I believe in intentional parenting and guiding my child to become a self-reliant, helpful and independent person by the time she is 18. You’re Not the Boss of Me by Betsy Brown Braun is full of useful tips and tricks on how to help our children along. Some things she writes about (boundaries, routine, dialogue, humor) come naturally to me and my husband, but some are very hard. What is especially hard for both of us is to let our daughter do things her way. We tend to be a bit perfectionistic, especially in the areas of our expertise IMG_0655(math and general science for me, electronics and engineering for my husband), and it’s so hard not to give “helpful suggestions” on how to anything better or why her plan will not work. It’s also hard for me personally not to feel disappointed when the project appears to be a “waste” of materials, time and effort and doesn’t look like anything I envisioned when I proposed a particular activity. This was definitely the case when Smarty pulled Build The IMG_0667Great Wall of China from our China Bucket List. I was thinking of Legos and blocks. Smarty, however, was thinking about clay or playdoh and built her “wall” in her usual grand scale. It was not quite what I had in mind (including spending a package of Model Magic), but this time I managed to just observe her work and share her enjoyment of the process rather than driving her to the finished product. As you can see, she is quite proud of her result.China Great Wall As it turns out, her technique was not that different from the original packed earth wall built more than 2,000 years ago. We learned more about it from China’s Great Wall movie I borrowed from the library. I had no idea that iconic images of The Great Wall actually belong to a much newer construction built when Ming dynasty came to power. The newer wall and its towers are built with bricks. Perhaps there is still a Lego Great Wall in our future, as now Smarty is considering building the next project with bricks.
Your turn: Is it difficult for you to let go of control? Does it get easier with more kids?
I am linking to:

12 comments:

Kelly said...

Yes!! It is hard to let kids do it their own way...it's especially hard for me when it takes them soooo long. I think I'm pretty organized and efficient, so I really need to fight my tendency to just jump in and do it. I'll have to look for your book recommendation.

Her Great Wall of China is great. She looks like she enjoyed the process too.
Kelly at Little Wonders' Days

Joyful Learner said...

I hear you in letting go. I dislike "wasting" materials and I keep reminding her to conserve. But I've learned to let go of how things should look when I see the light in her eyes and how proud she is of her own creation.

Love Anna's model of the Great Wall!

An Almost Unschooling Mom said...

I'd say it's gotten easier with more kids for me. I "helped" and prodded my oldest through a lot of projects - my youngest is a lot more free to explore and create and experiment in her own way and time. I'm still not in love with displaying messy artwork around the house, but I'm learning that beauty and success are often in the eye of the beholder. And quite frankly, I'm often too tired to care :)

Laura Flaute said...

No, it is not getting easier for me with the second child. I think it's not about control as much as about being naturally protective and trying to help and make their life easier. I am always intentionally work on letting it go.
Following your blog. Laura, http://camillaandroman.blogspot.com/

maryanne @ mama smiles said...

I love how proud she is of her finished wall! And that sounds like an excellent book that I need to read.

Ticia said...

I struggle with this at times. I try to balance teaching them the technique with letting them just have fun. It's sooooo hard.

Phyllis said...

I struggle with this too, and I think blogging has made this harder because you want the best presentation for a blog post. It is hard not to suggest things that will make it come out "better." It has gotten easier, but it is still a struggle for me.

Jennifer Fischer said...

I often find that my child flourishes when I just get out of the way! He is so creative. This is an important reminder.

Christy Killoran said...

I still have trouble with this! I often let go only because I'm too busy with another child to be such a perfectionist. I have to read this book.

Carrie said...

Some days I have trouble with it and others I do not. My husband struggles much more than I do though with it. Thank you for sharing at Sharing Saturday!!

lkgmita said...

I have trouble with this as well, especially if it is a craft I am going to blog about and I'd like some nice pictures! That is sad to admit, but true :) I love that you are thinking of this, and that you found a link between her method and the original one. Thanks for sharing at the Culture Swapper!

Emma @ P is for Preschooler said...

I definitely have a problem with this as well! I'm working on it even more now. They learn best on their own and sometimes they even teach us something! :)