I want to prepare my girl for the big bad world out there but how do I do that? Should I be overprotective and shield her from all things bad?
Or should I let her be a free bird and learn to live on her own?
But can I really let her loose completely in today’s world?
-these are some thoughts that run in my mind when I think about giving freedom to my child
Then I ponder upon my childhood to see what did my parents do. I remember that I was clearly told what my boundaries were, and given a free hand to do as I please while remaining in my limits. I was free to choose the dresses I wanted to wear or the friends I wanted to hang out with. My parents let me choose the subjects I wanted to study and the career I wished to pursue.
When I look back now, I was given freedom in guise. My parents always presented me with opportunities to learn and grow by way of experience in a guarded environment. Like, every time we traveled by train, my father would give me a Rs. 10 note to keep with me. I would be encouraged to independently transact with the chai wallah and the chips wallah bhaiyas on the trains. He would give them a look behind my back indicating that they had to deal with me – that I was the boss.
Or whenever we were walking on the road, he would take a step back and encourage me to take the lead and walk independently. All along he would keep his eyes on me lest I fall, yet he never let me know that he had his eyes on me all along. This gave me the confidence that I could do things on my own and if I couldn’t, he was always around to fall back on.
He always urged us to try things on our own before seeking help or giving up. I also realize that as I grew, I was given more freedom and control to take my own decisions.
Independence and freedom play a critical role in a child’s development. When given in the right measure, it can help foster essential qualities like confidence, curiosity, creativity and resilience in them.
How I am trying to instill Freedom in my child
As parents, I believe our role is to empower our child with life skills so she can take on the world head first! And just like my parents did, we are trying to do that by presenting her with opportunities to act independently and learn from them in an environment that is safe for her. I want her to know that she’s safe and that we shall always have her back – no matter what. But I don’t want her to be dependent on us.
My daughter of 15 months has been given the freedom to explore right from the very start. She is and never was stopped from exploring her surroundings unless we knew it could affect her negatively.
We follow baby led weaning and Miss C eats while we eat and mostly what we eat. She has been given the Freedom to taste and eat what and how much she wants to. We do not force feed her.
She loves to pet dogs and cats. While we exercise extreme caution and are always alert, we do not stop her from going near a pet animal. She enjoys the freedom to love as she pleases
She loves being out and about, be it a park or a beach. We let her be on her own, let her dirty her hands, let her dirty her clothes, let her get some minor scratches and bumps, let her feel, let her touch, let her learn, let her know and explore on her own. We let her be as she pleases…and that’s our idea on Freedom
This blog post is a part of #LetsDiscussFreedom blogathon. I would like to thank Pradnya from mummiyngainteasy.com for introducing me. I would now like to introduce Upasana of momandmaithili.com and suggest you to read her views on the prompt ‘Whats your take on giving Freedom for kids’