How to get over guilt and not be over protective?

Nowell - posted on 06/14/2014 ( 1 mom has responded )




A few months ago my 2 year old apparently learned how to unlock the front door while I was using the bathroom. Long story short I came out of the bathroom to find my front door wide open and my neighbor standing there holding my son's hand. She explained that she had pulled up and found my son standing in the parking spaces trying to open up my car door. It took everything I could not to cry and freak out. She said she understood and told me her daughter had just learned the same thing and it was not that big of a deal. However we installed chain locks high up on the door to prevent this from happening again. The problem is I overheard my neighbor telling someone today what had happened and saying "I can't believe she let that even happen." and the words "Bad mom" came up. I already have a hard time turning my back on my son for even a second now. How do I get over this guilt and give him independence to learn and grow without mommy walking on his heels?


Guest - posted on 06/14/2014




The trick is to anticipate what they will do before they do it.
EVERY mother has had her kid do that one thing that she didn't anticipate--your son got out of the house, my nice jumped into the family pool, a friend's son drank Windex, my own kid disappeared at a park while I answered a text on my phone. We're all great parents, but accidents happen.
Slipping up ONCE doesn't make you a bad mom, and if your neighbor thinks it does, she needs to take a good look in the mirror at her own reflection and realize she's probably made a mistake or two as well. For the most part, the kids come out on the other side of the occasional mistake okay, but occasionally, tragedy does strike, and that keeps us on our toes and keeps us thinking about minimizing the possibility for tragedy.

You really can't ever turn your back on a two year old. At that age, the best way to let him build independence is to "pretend" to have your back turned, so to speak--let him climb as high as he wants to on the monkey bars as long as there is soft mulch below (NOT you below poised to catch him if he loses his grip), go to the bathroom with the door closed, as long as there are bolts high on the outer doors, and all the chemicals are locked away (just beware--they start climbing about that time too, so storing Windex in the upper cabinets will NOT keep your kid safe while you are in the bathroom! Use a lock.) For the most part, if you don't follow your child around and "help them" do things they cannot do on their own, they won't be able to do those things until they are developmentally ready. Occasionally, a new skill (like unlatching the deadbolt or figuring out how to bypass the child lock on the medicine cabinet) will catch you off guard, but that happens to everyone and usually, it is okay. (on that note, after my friend's kid drank Windex, we installed these little alarms on the medicine cabinets that chime when the magnets are not aligned. They are like $30 for a set of 4 at home improvement stores. Just one more layer of defense without having to hover over him).

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