This was sent from the Arianna Huffington "On Becoming Fearless" daily meditation email. I was inspired to share it with all of you, as it struck a chord. Here's to balance, mamas + papas!
Ever since the days of Benjamin Spock’s groundbreaking book on how to raise a child, women have been wondering, “Am I doing the right thing?”, “Am I too protective or not protective enough,” or, “Will my kids love me when they grow up?”
There is no one formula for raising children. Each child is different and each parent is different. Infants and toddlers need more vigilant parents, because they haven’t formed the boundaries yet of what is safe and not safe. Yet, as they are learning to walk, we still have to let them fall, get up, then fall again. If we protect them from falling by carrying them in our arms, they will never learn.
A fine balance exists between the ‘helicopter’ mother who hovers over her child day and night and the laissez-faire mom who allows the child free rein. Sometimes we are over protective, sometimes not protective enough. As long as children know they are loved unconditionally, and that a reprimand is not a withdrawal of that love, they will eventually come to the conclusion that mom tried to do the very best she could, and the love will be returned just as we hoped and prayed it would.
The mother-child relationship is paradoxical…It requires the most intense love on the mother’s side, yet this very love must help the child grow away from the mother, and to become fully independent… - Erich Fromm