20 years ago as a young boy I found myself constantly in situations where my parents had no idea where I was. We would go to friends houses, then bounce to another friend’s house, then go to the creek, then end up at home again all before our parents realized we were gone. So why is that not happening in today’s modern society? The one word that answers that question is “information”.
So how do you run a wedding photography business and parent kids.
Our exposure to information today is so large that we have developed fears over shark attacks, plane crashes, and worst of all, our children being harmed, taken, or going missing. Each and every day on social media there is a story of a child who has developed a disease, or was hit by a car while playing in their neighborhood. So how do you allow your children to explore and grow in today’s society with a lot of “worst case scenario” information constantly at our fingertips?
Up front I want to clarify that there is no right answer. Parenting is a difficult subject, and giving parental advice can be as difficult as actually being a parent. But in watching my son run around and explore outside, I have discovered so much about what he needs to grow and experience the world without his father being too overbearing, or negligent. So here are the keys I have seen to enabling your children to experience the world as we did growing up:
- Make sure you communicate with them on why they need to be safe
- Children are smart and don’t want to be told “because I said so”. In communicating reason with your child you will reinforce that you know they are smart, and that you want them to understand the danger.
- In explaining to them why they need to stay away from the road, or out of the neighbors yard, or within eye view you will communicate your love for them and their value to you.
- Explaining to them the dangers may keep them from wanting to stray too far from you or your house.
- Allow them to decide what activities they want to do, rather than you pushing them into what you think they should want to do
- Your children are individuals, just like you, and have their own separate interests. Find what they love, whether its sports, photography, music, dance, etc. and encourage them to pursue their passion.
- Apply their interests to their daily activity, and allow the foundation to grow and manifest itself in creative ways.
- If they want to do something that wouldn’t interest you, let them try it and see if it is something they are passionate about before stopping them. Just because you don’t/didn’t like it doesn’t mean they won’t.
- Let them know how proud you are of them when they try something, whether they fail or succeed. Success is fantastic, but failure teaches you way more. Allow them to fail and succeed at their own effort.
- DON’T WORRY SO MUCH
- Yes, those terrible things are terrible, but you will drive yourself and your children crazy through over-worrying.
- Small percentages of children have horrible things happen to them. Don’t allow facebook posts or news stories keep you from being an encouraging parent.
- Be smart about where you let your children play, and keep an eye on them, but do so discreetly and from a distance. Let them be individuals, but be there when they fall and need Mom/Dad to pick them back up.