Letting him do it

Recently I’ve been fighting against the impulse to do things for Mingli.  I’ve realized that sometimes he has to do them for himself.  One of the skills Mingli is practicing is pulling himself into a standing position on furniture.  The other day he started doing that in his room, and I wanted to help him.  I could tell it was difficult for him, and I wanted so badly to grab him and pull him up, but I knew that he could do it himself if I let him.  I know that he needs to be more independent, and sometimes that is going to mean he struggles a little, falls down, or has to figure something out.  I firmly believe that babyhood is not the time to force a child into independence.  I believe it is the time to build trust and attachment.  The older Mingli gets, though, the less of a baby he is and the more ready he is to do things on his own.  Before I know it he will be a toddler, and me constantly fixing things for him will be detrimental to his development.  Like I said, I believe that babyhood is a time of attachment and bonding, but I believe that in toddlerhood a parent’s role changes.  I believe that we become more of a home base, a place of safety that the toddlers can come back to for reassurance as they explore and try new things.  This means that we hang back and let our children leave us to go do things on their own.  We give our children the chance to explore and do things, but we are then there if they need to come back to us.  I am entering this stage with Mingli.  I know he is not a toddler yet, but he is becoming more like one as far as his need for independence goes.  I am entering a new stage of parenthood, and it makes me a little sad.  I miss my baby relying on me for everything, knowing that I was his whole world.  His world is expanding, and I have to let it.

Sorry if this is a little rambling and doesn’t make a lot of sense.

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