My Parenting Philosophy Summed Up in 30 Seconds

"I have this feeling in my chest telling me not to do it," said my 8-year-old, Mr. T, as he hovered on the edge of a skate ramp drop.

"That's called fear," I told him. "Ignore it."

"But what if I hurt something?" he asked. Mr. T broke his wrist last summer and it's definitely toned down his daredevil skateboarding ways.

"You have a helmet, elbow pads, wrist pads, and knee pads," I told him. "You'll be fine."

"But what if I still break something?"

"Then you get another cool cast and I'll be the first to sign it," I replied.

A few minutes later, as you can see in the above video, he finally went for it--and wiped out. Hard. And you hear my response.

People always ask what I do to my kids to make them be the way they are. I don't know if I get much right as a parent, but encouraging them to take risks within reason, overcome fear, and then giving them props when they fail probably helps them more than I know.


Rosita said…
Undoubtably you are right. Way to go mom!
Liz Dwyer said…
And this morning I'm all, c'mon I want to watch you drop in again!
nick said…
You're right to encourage them to take a few risks. Too many parents are getting so screwed up about their children's safety they won't allow them to do anything remotely hazardous. So they grow up to be timid and self-doubting.
Liz Dwyer said…
They call it "helicopter parenting" now. My question with that is always, what's the kid going to do when you're not around to control a situation?
sippinwineman said…
I can't think of too many moms who share your perspective; encouraging w/o being pushy. I just wanna know how Mr. T. got up. Was he: pouty? crying? wanting to do it again-y?. That's a great way to get him/them to get over that fear.

@ Nick - Maybe, when she not around, he'll hear (in his head) his mom's words of encouragement.
Liz Dwyer said…
He was rubbing his ribs a little but I stopped filming because I leaned over the rail to put my hand out so he could give me a high five. He came over and gave me one and then he said he wanted to do it again. So he did and fell...that happened four or five times. The next attempt he really knocked the wind out of himself!

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