Thursday, August 11, 2011


Being a first time parent takes a lot of guess work. We aren't born experts at child rearing and discipline. It is a lot of trial and error. I have experimented with different strategies. Some are complete failures, so I discard them and try something new. There are a lot of different theories on raising children. I believe that you have to step back and give them room to explore and grow. It is hard, but I try not to hover and fix everything for my kids. 

My husband, Nick, and I have a daughter named Ada. She just turned two. We have tried to allow Ada to do things for herself. We want her to grow up to be independent and self confident. If she gets herself into a sticky situation, we try to allow her to solve the problem for herself before we step in and help her.

There is a water slide at our swimming pool. Ada just loves it. It is called an Otter Slide. It is wide enough for two people to go down at a time and about 30 feet long. Nick and I take turns sliding down beside her while we hold her around the waist.

One day, Ada decided she wanted to do it by herself. Nick is much braver than I am and he let her try. He stood at the bottom, ready to catch her. Little Ada walked up the stairs and sat on the slide. Without hesitation she counted to 3 at the top of her lungs and went for it.

All the onlookers were astounded. Nick kept getting asked how old she was. What they probably wanted to say was that we were insane for allowing a 2 year old to do that. If Ada was afraid or nervous, we would never make her do it. But she is fearless. So we try to encourage her to try new things. Sure, Ada gets hurt from time to time, but I believe it is important to teach her to pick herself up, dust herself off, and try again.


  1. That must have been a proud moment! I think you must have a great talent for parenting. :) I work with a youth pastor, and we see a lot of kids who have been so hemmed in by protective parents that now, almost adults, they not only have no idea of what they can or can't handle, they don't even know what they like or want for themselves. I think even for parents who mean well, it's easy to get so caught up in protecting those tender little babies from harm that you can forget that they need to grow and learn and ultimately, become adults! I think that means stepping back while kids make mistakes, suffer disappointments and bruises, and solve their own problems in their own ways.

    By the way, I love Ada's name. It's such a cute name, but it grows up so dignified. I bet Ada will, too.

  2. Oh wow, that is an AWESOME child-rearing concept. I've learned in many of my Early Childhood Classes that it is good to allow children to learn things on their own. I'm thrilled to see the application when carried out "real life" is also effective. :)
    Of course you and Nick would be the pioneers in the family! Lovin' it. xo Marzella

  3. Thank you both! Nick and I are far from perfect parents and we make TONS of mistakes. But we learn as we go. Hopefully we won't screw up our children too much in the process.

    Sadie, I'm glad you like Ada's name. We just love the old fashioned sound. But it is also cute for a baby.

  4. You are both such amazing parents! It is so interesting to see how children react on their own to everyday situations! What you're doing is so wonderful. Not only will Ada thank you for it one day but you will see how it will transform her into such a smart and self-sufficient child. She is already extremely smart and sweet (if I might add). However I agree that it is sometimes hard to step back and let them take control of a situation. I know from babysitting and being around my nieces that I am always wanting to help them do things so they don't fall or get hurt yet at the same time I know that they need room for error so that they can correct the mistake on their own the next time it happens. You are both such wise and wonderful parents. A good mother or father realizes what is best for their child even though it may be hard to not hover. Ada is so fortunate to have you. xo

  5. Thank you so much! I don't know how wise we are. My best advice is to just go with your instincts. Different children need to be approached differently, which we are already discovering with Joe!