It’s true! I was! The second I birthed Naturalist all by myself (OK, so, I was in a hospital, but the doctor was taking his sweet time getting his hospital gear on and the nurses told me not to push and I was all, ‘hell yes I’m going to push’ but I didn’t say that out loud I just waited for them to turn around to help the doctor and then I pushed and then I thought later ‘why didn’t I save myself thousands of dollars and just do this at home”…not where I was going with this blog post so lets just move along…) I went into hyper mom mode. Like a big, angry elephant ready to stomp over anything that got in the way of my precious little baby.
The older she got, the more things there were to get in her way. And the more things she was able to do, the greater the chances that she’d do it wrong. Not that the doing it wrong was a problem, but what if by doing it wrong she put herself in danger?! And when it comes right down to it, the world is a dangerous place. Everything can be hazardous if you are on the lookout for things that can hurt, maim, or kill.
I was nutso! In a fun, sassy way, but still. I was there every step of her way, constantly “helping” her to do things the “right” way. Of course, eventually I realized that my right isn’t hers, and yadda yadda yadda we’re unschooling!
Unschooling is the opposite of helicoptering, at least for me. I play more of a passive role in their lives…always involved, but in the way they specifically ask. I watch them tackle life head on, and stay quiet until they ask for help or for my opinion. It’s much less stressful this way.
Except, in some instances. Like when we went on a surrey ride in Huntington Beach a few days ago.
You can pedal the cart up and down the strand, which is where everyone is walking/biking/running/walking.
Golfer really wanted to drive it.
“Hey mom, why don’t you let me drive this thing nice and slow!”
So we start going down the Strand, and it feels like we’re on the Space Mountain ride at Disneyland, complete with screaming and holding up the hands:
I look over and Golfer has turned in to this:
He has the only control of the cart, he’s running us in to walls and narrowly avoiding people. It was a wild ride. I was ready to launch myself at the brake if it looked like he was imminently going to run someone over that had the power to sue us. But! Whereas before I would have been quick to take over, this time I just went along for the ride.
He was so proud of himself, and I was proud I could just stay calm and let him work it out himself. Because that’s what it’s all about…letting our kids work the little things out when their young so that they have the ability to work the big stuff out when they get older.
would you like a small glimpse into our ride, courtesy of the magical iphone video?
And, some of my favorite books all about the value of play:
Filed under: Homeschool/Unschool |