I’m a hands-off mom.
We play together, but for the most part I leave my son to his own devices. He has learned to play independently quite well. And when he does want me to play with him, I am there for him.
I don’t plan activities or do arts & crafts with him. I leave that to the school.
Sometimes I blame the fact that I didn’t do Mommy & Me classes or whatever because I was severely depressed, and super poor. But even in a better situation, I still wouldn’t have gone.
If we go to the park, I sit on the sidelines and watch him. His imagination is simply incredible when I’m not trying to lead the play.
When T had a friend sleepover this weekend, K’s mom asked if I had anything planned for the boys. I felt bad saying no, but it’s the truth. I let them entertain themselves in T’s bedroom, and they watched a couple of cartoons on DVD. I pretty much only interacted with them when they were tattling on each other, or when I was eating meals with them.
I don’t want to be a mom that has to run around to a bunch of different activities, sports, and club meetings. I’ve signed him up for T-ball, and that will probably be enough for me. One thing at a time. He’ll decide if he likes it, and then maybe we’ll try something else.
I was going to sign him up for karate, but that would take up 4 days a week. Four days! That’s more than half of my week. Maybe that makes me selfish, but it just seems a little ridiculous to me.
I believe that children learn through play. Not everything in their lives needs to be forced and scheduled.
T has thrived in this environment I’ve raised him in. He’s an intelligent little monster, and that’s without me forcing anything. He potty-trained best when I stepped back and took away that ridiculous reward chart. I’ve bought him flashcards and books to learn reading, but he’s doing it all on his own. He looks at the word on the flashcard, sounds it out, and then checks the picture on the back to see if he was right. If I try to help him out, he gets frustrated.
Sometimes I do worry about whether I’m being laid-back or lazy. But, for the most part, I can shrug my worries aside and see that this is what works for us.
I step back, and he flourishes.
And what could possibly be wrong with that?