Children always do what we do, not what we say. In other words, actions always speak louder than words.
As moms and dads, we are raising children whose consequences are oftentimes very limited. With this limitation comes an inability for the child to figure it out. To think before they speak; to relate and navigate life without the hovering so prevalent from parents today.
I am just as guilty as the next parent of lingering longer in the door when they first go to day care, then standing outside the door when they first go to kindergarten, waiting in the hall in middle school and sitting in the parking lot at high school. It’s probably more than you would do, but I am sure there are a few hovering moms out there who understand what I am saying.
There will always be a transition that our children must go through within themselves. There are many ways that parents can teach and guide. There is an easy fix for a repair, followed by a reboot, which oftentimes comes with a tumultuous beginning. It is never too late to begin again.
Repair requires that the parent step back and analyze his or her part in this necessary fix. Did I hover, did I answer for them, are they doing what I did? Is it time for Mom to be still and allow the teacher, the husband, the grandparent, the aunt or uncle to guide this particular life lesson?
Raising kids who think, who are prepared and who are not always in crisis mode requires discipline and tough love. If we don’t lovingly discipline in the home, our children will be unprepared to encounter society’s discipline, which has no love.
My preteen daughter recently gave my husband ‘”the face,” which chapped his hide. Her life lesson began, and mine did, too. Time to open up the syllabus and begin “Hovering from a Distance 101.”
My mother used to say when she was disciplining us, “This hurts me more than it hurts you.” I get it now.
•Yolande Barial is a Tracy resident and mother. Her column appears monthly in the Press. Comments can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.