Please Don't Help My Kids!

Are we enabling our children to become too dependent on others?

Dear Other Parents At The Park:

Please do not lift my daughters to the top of the ladder, especially after you've just heard me tell them I wasn't going to do it for them and encourage them to try it themselves.

I am not sitting here, 15 whole feet away from my kids, because I am too lazy to get up. I am sitting here because I didn't bring them to the park so they could learn how to manipulate others into doing the hard work for them. I brought them here so they could learn to do it themselves.

They're not here to be at the top of the ladder; they are here to learn to climb. If they can't do it on their own, they will survive the disappointment. What's more, they will have a goal and the incentive to work to achieve it.

In the meantime, they can use the stairs. I want them to tire of their own limitations and decide to push past them and put in the effort to make that happen without any help from me.

It is not my job — and it is certainly not yours — to prevent my children from feeling frustration, fear, or discomfort. If I do, I have robbed them of the opportunity to learn that those things are not the end of the world, and can be overcome or used to their advantage.

If they get stuck, it is not my job to save them immediately. If I do, I have robbed them of the opportunity to learn to calm themselves, assess their situation, and try to problem solve their own way out of it.

It is not my job to keep them from falling. If I do, I have robbed them of the opportunity to learn that falling is possible but worth the risk, and that they can, in fact, get up again.

I don't want my daughters to learn that they can't overcome obstacles without help. I don't want them to learn that they can reach great heights without effort. I don't want them to learn that they are entitled to the reward without having to push through whatever it is that's holding them back and *earn* it.

Because — and this might come as a surprise to you — none of those things are true. And if I let them think for one moment that they are, I have failed them as a mother.

I want my girls to know the exhilaration of overcoming fear and doubt and achieving a hard-won success. 

I want them to believe in their own abilities and be confident and determined in their actions. 

I want them to accept their limitations until they can figure out a way past them on their own significant power.

I want them to feel capable of making their own decisions, developing their own skills, taking their own risks, and coping with their own feelings.

I want them to climb that ladder without any help, however well-intentioned, from you.

Because they can. I know it. And if I give them a little space, they will soon know it, too.

So I'll thank you to stand back and let me do my job, here, which consists mostly of resisting the very same impulses you are indulging, and biting my tongue when I want to yell, "BE CAREFUL," and choosing, deliberately, painfully, repeatedly, to stand back instead of rush forward.

Because, as they grow up, the ladders will only get taller, and scarier, and much more difficult to climb. And I don't know about you, but I'd rather help them learn the skills they'll need to navigate them now, while a misstep means a bumped head or scraped knee that can be healed with a kiss, while the most difficult of hills can be conquered by chanting, "I think I can, I think I can", and while those 15 whole feet between us still feels, to them, like I'm much too far away.

Gandhi January 21, 2013 at 03:35 AM
Michael Tran - there are some on here who will drag the Presidents name through the mud at any and every opportunity, regardless of what the topic of the story is. It gets really old quickly believe me. I am NOT a conservative, if that makes you feel better! ;)
Gandhi January 21, 2013 at 03:36 AM
You sound very wise to me Michael Tran - and are certainly prepared to eventually become a good parent!
Gandhi January 21, 2013 at 03:37 AM
You need to "get a grip" Marshall, and quit the sarcastic remarks to everybody on here, just because they don't agree with your point of view.
Gandhi January 21, 2013 at 03:38 AM
I agree Eliz.
Gandhi January 21, 2013 at 03:39 AM
Nor do you Roberto! We are basing our statements/opinions on what he, and you are actually posting here, believe it or not. Stand wherever you want, just not on my foot!! Who is "letting their kids run amok"????? Now, who's "assuming" here?
Gandhi January 21, 2013 at 03:42 AM
It is amazing isnt it? Mine's already grown up, and I've posted exactly how she turned out even, but that doesnt seem to get through to many of these "know it alls" on here. I think the author did a good job on this article, I personally, and quite a few others on here apprently, think she is pretty right on, and others are free to raise their kids any way they choose, there's something called "karma" and they will find out eventually what that is, if they're not familiar with it yet.
Gandhi January 21, 2013 at 03:49 AM
Thank you Michael, I appreciate that. You are correct, I was never a "totally detached" mother, I was the "room mom" in school every single year, I helped when necessary, and tried to get her to figure things out on her own, as I believe its critical to functioning in this world, you cannot always rely on others to be there to catch you when you fall. You grasp what I'm all about, and I think YOU are one of those kids who definitely is on the right road. There are several on here "tbone", "Marshall", "tvor", and some other regulars, who appear to simply love to argue with others, try to insult them, and denigrate them, possibly it makes them feel better, not sure, but whatever it is, they do have some issues that they need to deal with. You're the kind of person its a pleasure to discuss issues with and occasionally make helpful suggestions, based on my experience, to. Some of these guys cannot listen to anybody, thats a problem in life. You get it, they never will. Take care Michael and talk soon! ;)
Gandhi January 21, 2013 at 03:53 AM
Apparently, you are NOT speaking from personal experience but rather some vague philosophy that you wish had occurred in your life, obviously. Do you think parents just take off when their kids are at the playground? Totally ignore them? Are you nuts? You have no experience, thats obvious, so we will consider the source of your comments and relevance.
Gandhi January 21, 2013 at 03:58 AM
tbone, sounds like you've been spending too much time yourself gettin high. You have absolutely NO IDEA what you're talkin about, that is apparent! My daughter was raised out on five acres, I WAS her only playmate most of the time!!! So, spare me your little made up stories about me and what kind of parent I am, I'm sick and tired of your crap here. Go find somebody else to slam buddy, cuz I am going to throw it right back in your face every single time you do. I do NOT post MY comments on here to fight with you, or be criticized, get that through your rude and arrogant head!!! Now that I know you're an old fart, believe me, I will treat you accordingly. Hmmmmm all three joined the service.....guess they werent college material, or just really anxious to get away from home?
Gandhi January 21, 2013 at 04:00 AM
I'll be there with Carl!! YOU are not the only one who can express an opinion on here tbone, do you understand this??? I really hope so.
Gandhi January 21, 2013 at 04:01 AM
Yeah, right. How interesting.........yawn
tbone January 21, 2013 at 06:40 AM
Well Linda the pot head .First of all to be an officer in the Marines you have to have a college degree Linda .To join the airforce to become a pilot not only do you have to be extremly excellent in math you also need a college education to get there .So how about that Linda .So how did little Norman turn out .
Marshall January 21, 2013 at 08:47 AM
Again linda you can't even comprehend the most basic concepts such as the fact I am not a man.
Elsinore 33 January 21, 2013 at 12:45 PM
Linda, how did your kid turn out. Seems to me the 5 acre lot you have was used to grow pot and even poppiies for herion according to your articles and others post. herion type poppies can't grow in temecula, only in about 4 areas of the world at very high altitudes so the herion poppies you grew for your own personal use weren't herion at all. Did your kids learn how to trim pot buds so they get big and seedless? Does your kid smoke dope with you because if they do it wouldn't be the first I heard of that. Are you still growing pot and do you sell it at pot store? What I find most amusing about the article is they preach how they want their children to be independent but they themselves are dependent on the government for a handout.
Marshall January 21, 2013 at 02:23 PM
Your the only one I take issue with Linda. I know the world isn't black or white. I know people raise their children the way they believe is best. You took my statement about what i believe and started attacking me and then when I say something about it you start a full scale assault. I don't care what you say..it is actually quite amusing how an older middle age women can act like such an erratic nut.
Marshall January 21, 2013 at 02:37 PM
Also thanks Tbone and Roberto I appreciate your words :)
Carl Petersen III January 21, 2013 at 04:12 PM
Elsinore 33 4:45 am on Monday, January 21, 2013 "What I find most amusing about the article is they preach how they want their children to be independent but they themselves are dependent on the government for a handout." . . Who exactly is "they?"
jeancheryl801 January 21, 2013 at 07:38 PM
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Gandhi January 22, 2013 at 03:32 AM
Oh, I see, what are you Marshall?? Do I give a rats ass is the point I think. The answer to that one is NO. @ tbone you're a liar, thats all I have to say to you here, except I still say, IF you have any kids, which I doubt, they were very anxious to get away from you. Norman? Who the hell is Norman???? YOU are the one who needs to learn to read tbone, badly. Pothead? Hah! If you only knew, you moron.
Gandhi January 22, 2013 at 03:38 AM
Well first of all, I will have to correct you on one point, I DID GROW "HEROIN POPPIES" HERE IN TEMECULA!! So dont tell me I can't grow them here. They are called P. somniferum, I grew them because they are beautiful plants, for no other purpose, not that its any of YOUR business!! Also, this area is for posting comments regarding the above story!! Amazing as it may seem, it is NOT for you to assume anything about others on here, nor make up stories, lies, insults etc. You think whatever you want, but we can see what you are by your comments here - ignorant. Quite amazing, ever consider going into the fiction writing field? I'm sure you'd be just peachy at it, IF you could master the English language and some basic grammar rules that is. Enjoy your life, putting down others, and "assuming"!!
Gandhi January 22, 2013 at 03:40 AM
I dont give a damn what or whom YOU take issue with Marshall, and I dont give a damn what your sex is either. Its NONE of your business, MY personal life, got it???!! So BUTT OUT!! YOU started it by calling the author the "ice queen", notice that you removed that comment, obviously, I was correct. Honey, anytime you wanna take me on I'm game, but I guarantee you're gonna regret it.
Gandhi January 22, 2013 at 03:41 AM
Two more jerks to back you up, how wonderful for you Marshall! Of the number of people on here you are waaaay in the minority, thank god for that. Ten percent of the population are ignorant loud mouths, and we can see that percentage right here in action with Marshall, tbone and Roberto!
tbone January 22, 2013 at 04:01 AM
No Linda Ill say it .Thank goodness these kids have an IceQueen for a mother Linda .
Marshall January 22, 2013 at 02:34 PM
You must have been great at teaching those life lessons. I can see how calm, patient and loving you are. I bet you were nothing like the mommy dearest personality your displaying.
Elsinore 33 January 22, 2013 at 02:57 PM
What Martha showed us in her previous blogs is called "wigging out". She forgot to smoke her stuff that day and she was having a break down. Perhaps she smoked some of the herion poppies she grew in her backyard, ideed....working in the wal-Mart landscape department does not make you a plant pathologist...just a working girl who smokes too much dope with her kids and tried to grow what she thinks is another drug to get her high but in actually has about as much opiate as a germanium. How bout that...go smoke some germanium leaves, see how it makes you feel. One side effect of smoking home grown pot is wigging out, you used too much fertilizer and this is what you are seeing the affects of, you better reread that book you stole from work on growing pot....you misraed where it said, don't use chemical fertilizer, only organic compounds such as cow manure. be careful Linda, you could be frying your brain with fertilizer, personally based on your writings I think the damage has already begun.
Medusa January 26, 2013 at 07:11 AM
Great article. Thank you!
Medusa January 26, 2013 at 07:12 AM
@ Linda - you rock! Just be careful! The editors here have no problem with people who instigate and name call and start trouble, but as soon as you try to defend yourself your posts get deleted.
Kim January 26, 2013 at 07:48 AM
I agree. Seems like the high school boys had the best understanding of the article.
Medusa January 26, 2013 at 08:57 AM
thought foul language was prohibited? According to the Acceptable Use Policy: Without limitation, you agree that you will not post or transmit to other users anything that contains Content that: contains “masked” profanity (e.g., F@&#) and this isn't even "masked"!
Cindy Rohrenbach April 09, 2013 at 06:24 AM
I love this article, since I read it I totally encourage my daughter to try on her own. But I never sit back on a bench and encourage, I stand either next to her or behind her and I always tell her "don't ever say you can't do something cause you can if you put your mind to it!" And one day I received the best reply from my 4year old daughter she said, "mommy I did it look!" Best moment ever I couldn't be happier to have read this article and teach something to my daughter! That day I taught my daughter something that she can do it on her own, and to be proud and happy for what she accomplished!


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