Friday, February 27, 2009

Good Parenting or Selfish Mothering?

Peanut has one of those board books with wheels on it - a book and a car? Can't beat it in the eyes of my child.

In this particular book is a picture of a motorcycle with the text "Motorcycles are fun to ride." He received the book at Christmas and I read it a few times as "Motorcycles are dangerous to ride" partly as a joke. The hubby chided me, so after only two or three times or reading it as "dangerous," I read the real text. Only peanut, in typical toddler fashion, corrected me and said, "no, mommy, motorcycles are dangerous." Oops.

Now, every time we look at this particular book, I have to explain that motorcycles are fun, but can be dangerous so you have to be careful and wear a helmet. Now, when we see motorcycles on the road, he points and announces "Be careful!"

Part of me feels horrible that I've completely jaded this little boy who should have the world at his feet to experience and learn from. I don't want him to grow up afraid or fearful. I want him to take (appropriate) risks and feel the adrenaline rush of success and accomplishment.

Another part of me, and maybe the bigger part, is relieved. Relieved that maybe I've planted a seed to keep him from trying at least one potentially dangerous behavior. Relieved that maybe I've saved myself just one sleepless night. Relieved that I still have such an obvious influence.

Oh, this parenting business doesn't get any easier. Maybe I should start telling him girls are icky...


CDB said...

Definitely the line we have to walk as Moms, all the time. It's cute, that he says "dangerous" to motorcycles. . and it's true (my dad got into a mc accident when I was in HS. He was okay though.)

Thanks for the thoughtful comment, btw.. I appreciate that!

Missy said...

I have that book and have often changed the line to "You should always wear helmets when riding on a motorcycle." I had a cousin killed in a motorcycle accident and he was wearing a helmet. Don't feel bad about labeling them "dangerous." They are! But I completely understand what you mean.

Kim said...

I would definitely follow your lead on the topic of motorcycles. My son is 14 months and my husband is already throwing him around the room and teaching him how to do tricks off of the furniture that make me want to cover my eyes. I know that they have to learn to be boys but I would also like to be the balance they need to be cautious in some circumstances. I love being the mom of a boy but it does come with it's own set of challenges and a built in commentator (dad).

Meredith said...

I vote NO to motorcycles but YES to jumping out of a plane with his cool aunt!!!! :)

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