Allow children to take risks

When my daughter was born, I spent half the night without sleeping in an uncomfortable position, while she slowly sucked on my chest again to sleep. I whiled away the time for an awful game of "what would I go for her?".

This is a simple game. You just need to imagine the most horrible scenario that is only capable of imagination, and ask what would I do to protect her daughter? Would have taken a bullet? A knife in the stomach? The cock of a stranger in a troubled childbirth vagina? I would allow yourself to suffocate? The room blurred before my eyes and plunged into darkness, a child cries, I lose consciousness...

If given the opportunity, I would have shot the attacker (I know, I don't even have a gun)? Would have caved his skull in a cast iron skillet? I would move his body a machine over and over again, while on the road there would be no one bloody mess?

Finally, the worst of it. What if I had to choose between the daughter and someone else who I love? I would give up best friend? Mother? Husband?

These imaginary scenes were so vivid that I had to catch my breath and I was sobbing, lying in bed with a beautiful medenica. All because the answer was always the same: Yes, I would do it.

The realization that for the life of the daughter I can donate to so many — body, family, his humanity — was turning me inside out, although nothing from an imaginary me didn't happen and had a chance to happen sometime.
However, I've changed. The birth of a daughter turned me into a woman, one is able to bring unimaginable sacrifice or show of unimaginable cruelty.

Her birth changed me in many ways. My husband and I took courses in newborn care, where we were taught everything — how to breastfeed, how to carry arms. But when we brought Benn back home, my hands were shaking, even when I was doing the simplest thing — changing a diaper, buttoning straps child car seat and especially when I wrapped it in a sling — a long piece of fabric, specially designed to securely strap the child to my chest and release your hands. Ha. She was buried face deep folds of fabric that his hands were still busy — I constantly corrected her position and frantically checked the breathing.


My father died suddenly at the age of 63, a year before the birth of Benny, so I went into parenthood, no longer believing in a story "we will live long and grow old before we die." Learning that you're expecting, I read about your miscarriages. I was consumed with stress all the time a risky pregnancy. I expected that after the daughter was safely left the womb — a place that threatened her long 9 months — I feel better, but no, I just wanted to push her back. My body is not very well served to her, but the rest of the world? The whole world is a death trap. Even those imaginary killers, suddenly I realized, could kill me and then her.

The only thing I knew about my new life as a mother, I can never guarantee the safety of my child. To believe otherwise would be too presumptuous.

However, we live in a culture that instructs parents is such arrogance, with an increasing number of mandatory requirements. We don't want the children watching TV. You can't feed them semi-finished products and sugar. It is impossible to prevent tantrums in public places, especially in restaurants and airplanes.

It is impossible to walk on the ground, even close to home. Actually you can't even let kids play on the private, screened, covered non-slip coating the porch of your home. I can paint the bans for another 5 pages, even if you ignore the obviously conflicting claims of the type "it is impossible to give the child to kindergarten, but need to contribute financially to the welfare of the family." But I do not.

I'm tired, mentally and existentially. Motherhood and work full-time out of me all the resources — time, money, a considerable part of self-confidence and boundless empathy. Parenthood has also brought me a new clarity: now I can clearly see the hierarchy of the problems and paying minimal attention to those that are at the bottom of the list.

Judgments from the Internet deserve the lowest place in the hierarchy.

As probably all parents who read the Internet horror stories about children who died due to the fact that the adults behind them looked bad and neglected the safety rules, I felt like the heart goes to the heel, and tried to remember how my daughter ran into the road or climbing on the kitchen Cabinet, or jump in a city fountain.

I desperately wanted to ignore these virtual stoning and continue to raise a girl, but I couldn't. Could not ignore the widespread lack of compassion for the parents and the inexplicable denial of the will of the case, because those anonymous commentators can be our neighbors, who will call child services next time Benn will escape from my hands.

Or, even worse, next time I'll take a balanced decision to let her go.

You have seen adoring the toddler near water, even if it's a tiny puddle of rainwater? NEED. SPLASH. And finally, in our area, the summer came, the countdown of nice weather, already gone, and each of them begs Benn, to enjoy it to the maximum. Lawn sprinkle enticing moving forward and backward? Runs through them! Fountain on the Playground? You need to build a castle out of the mud! Oh, the sign "no Swimming" in the pond? Winter is coming, and the machine can throw us on the way home, and I have accidentally got a diaper for swimming. Okay. Go and live, my girl!

This is not negligence or stupidity causes parents to say "Yes" to the seemingly contentious situations. Children are created to test each rule. What forces and how many hands you need to have to prevent the child to break the rules? And how many bans are harmful, or random, or based on the inequality that we actually fighting for? Our parent task — to forbid children to test the rules, and to teach them to weigh the risks.

Once on the site of Benn became friends with an older girl who wanted to show off your ability to climb the trees in front of my enthusiastic toddlercon. I secretly approve of what Papa allows the girl to crawl on the twisted knots of the branches of the tree is the best tree for climbing in the world! but her dad didn't know that. When the girl climbed onto the branch, he cautiously looked around and started apologizing, telling me he couldn't stop her.

"She's great" I said, watching as she gleefully swinging on a low branch.

"Yes, it's true, — he agreed, — but you never know what will people think".

I understand why many parents avoid the news about the death of children. Many also avoid works of art depicting cruelty to children — such as "Game of thrones", one episode of which was shown truly painful scene of the burning of Shireen Baratheon at the stake.

I'm crying because of such news and such films, with all my heart wishing that these horrible things never happened, but still watch, read, click on the headers. Partly because I feel obliged to share with the children and parents in their sorrow and suffering.

But also because their history is an important reminder that peace can be dangerous and cruel to children. That this cruelty can be overcome only if it is to attract attention. That adversity happens even in very attentive, caring, stable families. No one has immunity. Despite the fact that the current standards of education of children literally deny death.
We don't have to feel like a God.


And when will the money buy? or How to talk to kids about moneyWhy not to force children to go to music school and dancing

I am not saying to be careless. I'm not saying that it is not necessary precautions. But to raise children that can recognize, understand and appreciate risks, it is necessary to allow them to take risks. Be open to love, travel, mistakes, downfalls, failures, loneliness, swim, swing on a swing — that is great happiness.published


©Amy Monticellо, translation: Natalia Lomaev




See also

New and interesting