Rescue Me!

My daughter started Kindergarten last month.  I must admit the idea of 35 hours away from Mom and Dad at the local public school was daunting…for her parents.  Although I think it a bit ridiculous that 5 year olds go to school from 8am to 3pm each day – this is a perfect time of year to remind parents to let go and refrain from rescuing our little ones as well as our bigger ones.  We must remember our tasks as parents is to prepare our children for increasing independence and successful adulthood.  When we fail to let our kids fail we seriously undermine their ability to become good problem solvers and stress managers.  If our kids never are allowed to feel stress, told the word “no”, or suffer through negative or uncomfortable experiences they turn into emotionally crippled adults without coping skills or any ability to handle stress.  They come to believe that they never have to feel sad, disappointed, or stressed.  Mom and Dad are there to rescue and make sure they stay happy.  We live in a culture where parents erroneously believe that if they keep their child happy they will get a blue ribbon for Parent of the Year.  Any failure by their child is a failure for them.  CNN posted a good article that serves to remind us of our roles as we head into the school year.  I especially liked the quote by Dr. Kenneth Ginsburg.  “What we need to understand is that our job as parents is not to finish our kids or produce perfect kids. It’s to start our kids.” 
Just for the record I’ve only visited my daughter once at her new school during these first few weeks.  But who’s counting?