How do I let my children become independent ( as an overprotective mother)
My children are becoming independent and as a mother I have a hard time with that. I am very protective and someone who always sees bears on the road. I am an overprotective mother.
And thinking more and more about how best to deal with it.
An overprotective mother
It’s not new that I’m a worried person. It’s not that since I became a mother, it has become more so. All my life I’ve been scared of things that can happen. Although I never let this stop me from doing things.
When I was twenty-three I went backpacking alone in Australia for a year and my hobby is climbing. Still, I’ve spent many nights lying awake about something I was going to do or something that was going to happen.
The feeling has become even more extreme
Since I have children it has become more extreme and sometimes I feel like an overprotective mother. When they were small I found it hard to let them go. In a playground I stayed nearby, learning to ride a bike they did with a helmet on and preferably I always had them with me and kept a constant eye on them.
But even now that they are older, I find it hard to let go.
You read it, see it and hear it. Messages you never hope to get. It is all quite intense, what is happening around us and we would like to protect our children all the time. Protecting them from that evil outside world. But let me also be realistic, this is not possible.
They have to be able to grow, become independent, discover their own world and learn to make their own mistakes.
The kids are getting bigger and older
Holding hands, I can’t do that anymore. The children are getting older and more independent. And that is also part of parenting.
This does not mean I am more relaxed. The oldest goes to gym class by bike these days and I’d be lying if I said my heart doesn’t skip a beat when I hear an ambulance in the distance on a morning like this. But I don’t let them know this, because I don’t want to hinder them in their activities.
So they cycle to friends, walk themselves to school and stay at home alone now and then.
I can trust them just fine too, they are becoming more and more independent. They pay very close attention. In traffic, on my bike or walking down the street.
I trust them absolutely. They are careful and can stay home alone for a while. The beauty of it is that as a concerned mother, I am more and more challenged. I’m basically always home, but recently I had to be somewhere and wouldn’t be home at lunch time.
I gave the oldest the key with the message that I would call when they needed to go back to school. They managed just fine that afternoon. Of course I knew this was possible and I deal with them much more easily and confidently and if I’m not home when they get home from school, the boys don’t mind at all.
The house key and a phone of their own
What I did arrange is that the eldest got a phone with Sim Only from us. We no longer have a landline phone and I do want to be able to reach him, should I be out and about or unexpectedly late getting home. He doesn’t call himself yet, so the choice for Sim Only was easily made.
So with a phone and the house key in their pockets, they become independent and grow into big boys. Yet I can reach them if necessary.