Friday Fun: Throw them to the Wolves or Wrap them in Swaddling?

9:23:00 PM

(Word of warning, I've calmed down...a bunch. I don't want to offend anyone. This post is about balance, and not a comment on anyone's parenting, just my thoughts on what happened this week with my kids.)

 A major struggle that every parent deals with is how much rope do you allow your child to have. Or whether to throw them to the wolves or wrap them in swaddling.

It's a balance between challenging them and keeping them safe.

This week, we struggled with this. Not with the four year old, but with the 15 1/2 month old twins.

The daycare that we attend refused to move them up with their peers to the toddler room. You see, they are walking, but not well, and they did not want them in the toddler room. I felt that the daycare was discriminating against them because they are small. After fighting with the director, I spoke with the owner.  She told me that she had made the decision to not allow children into the toddler room until they were walking well because some children were moved up too early last year. It was a matter of keeping them safe, she told me.

I don't want my babies to get hurt. I swear I feel every bump and bruise. That's why I made that little boo-boo bird earlier this week for them. I don't want them to do things that they are simply not ready to do. I am not going to ask my four year old to run a marathon. I'm not going to expect my twins to play soccer next week.

But the twins are toddling. They want to go, and they are at that stage when they are finding...creative...ways to get there (the favorite mode of transportation--sort of a pseudo-walking while pushing a toy truck, And they aren't going to be challenged if they are surrounded by babies who are just (barely) crawling. So this mama kept pushing. I was ready to take them somewhere else. They are small, and were premature, but they are still withing the "normal" range for their age for motor skills--so I wanted them to be with their age-mates. I was willing to pull them out of their school and put them somewhere else to do it.

But at this point, it looks like that isn't necessary. The twins have worked to transition to the toddler room this week (after the daycare conceded to let them try when I told them I was not as concerned about them being hurt as I was concerned they'd be left behind, and insisted that they let them try). We are looking at full time in the toddler room next week.

They will get hurt in that class. I have no doubt about that. But at this point, they are ready for that class, and I would only hurt them and hold them back. That's not to say that sometimes, a child isn't ready for something that their peers are. It's really one of the biggest challenges of parenting: to know when your child is ready to do something, when to push them, and when to hold them back. Usually, I am the one that is holding the kids back a bit, but I guess I'm learning that there is a balance.

But in the meantime, a word of warning: don't tell me what my kid can't do. Let the child (and the parents) make that decision. You can voice your opinion, but know that I will fight for my kid, and what will challenge them, while keeping them as safe as I can.

And now I'll get off my soap box.

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