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When Free Range Parenting Fails
This post is an example of why I got into blogging into the first place. I wanted a safe judgement free zone for parents to share their parenting wins & fails with no harsh judgment. So Please forgive any typo’s and grammatical failures, this topic is fresh and very personal. I am raw and I just need to get it out. I will let “grammerly” handle this for me. My apologies in advance.
Let me clarify my personal stance on parenting. I lean towards “free range parent.” I won’t quite let my 8 year old ride the city bus alone, but I will teach them how to navigate their way around alone and ask directions. I may giggle at your weird sanitizing a pacifier routine when it falls on the ground but I won’t hold it against you. I on the other hand adhere to a strict 10-20 second rule and then lick it clean myself before giving it back to the baby.
My free range policy also applies to my teens and their use of devices. I as a Christian as well as my husband who was raised in the church feel that this is a strong backbone to helping them understand the hard choices they will be faced with. We also try to keep an open conversation with them and talk openly with them about sex, drugs, my own life experiences in an effort to stay “approachable and open” to them. So why would I ever think “Free Range Parenting” would fail? I wasn’t a camel sticking my head in the sand. I thought I was doing everything “right,” or so I thought.
I thought everything was going ok, until this morning. We occasionally do “spot checks.” I choose this method vs monitoring software or anything of that sort. It’s just a personal choice again, you do you boo. While looking thru a phone I found some disturbing material, and let me clarify…no one was killing puppies or doing anything illegal! Just stupid sh*t that would upset a parent. I’m not going to get into specifics for the sake of my children. But nonetheless it was upsetting.
And yes, you are going to say..”Mari this isn’t about you.” But isn’t it? That is the first person we blame. Ourselves for our children’s missteps right? Their failure to make the right choices in life. No matter how hard we try to do the right thing, is it ever right? I’ve seen “helicopter moms” with the same problems. So do any of us know what we’re doing?
I attended a “Coffee with The Principal” this week at a school my child attends. And while of the “helicopter moms” was ranting about how parents should be more involved, we were all shaking our heads in agreement. I was thinking “Yep they should.” Silly me!
I have a child making not so great choices…How?.. I am involved, I am a presence at my children’s schools, I engage with my children, I host other children at my house constantly! What is the answer?…Because right now I am at a complete loss and feel like a disappointment who has given everything and not enough at the same time.
Does anyone have the magical parenting answers to figuring out these tiny humans? What do you do when you have a beautiful, smart and loving child that is obviously struggling, and you are doing everything you are “supposed” to be doing. Yet it’s still not enough?