Menu
Lifestyle

Swinging through life (not with the greatest of ease)

TAKING A LEAP: Parents generally try to do what's right for their children, but we're still only human, we're going to get it wrong sometimes.
TAKING A LEAP: Parents generally try to do what's right for their children, but we're still only human, we're going to get it wrong sometimes.

I CAN be (and most likely have been) labelled a helicopter parent over the years.

This is the first year I haven't helped in my son's class and he's in Year 4 ... just to give you an idea.

But I like to think I'm also pushing their boundaries, encouraging calculated risks and stepping back to let them experience life on their own terms.

We've moved out into the country on an expansive, very dense with bushland, acreage. Very "free-range” of me. And any day now I'll let them explore it on their own.

I am confident in their ability to gauge their own capabilities.

My daughter has a robust self-esteem so I'm not going to tell her she can't compete in a talent quest with children almost twice her age.

My son can shimmy up poles and trees like he's part-chimp, so I'm not going to tell him to come down. Even when I see other parents gasp in horror.

But that's not to say I don't worry for their physical and emotional safety, or feel the sting of others' judgment.

Because though it mostly goes right, it can also go very wrong.

As it did over the holidays when I took my monkeys to a trapeze school.

While I won't divulge which child froze when they reached the high wire (and it is very high wire), I will say when they came down, they were Not Happy.

They had felt pushed into something they weren't ready to do and I, helpless on the ground beneath them, had let it happen.

When it was my turn (penny, pound and all that), I experienced the stricken fear they'd just gone through and felt even worse about the situation.

The supervisor said sadly, "your child hates me” and I replied "I'm the mother, they hate me more”.

When I got down, I approached the Upset Child who had already rebuffed my peace offering of biscuits, to sincerely apologise.

Eventually, the Much Despised Supervisor had a quiet chat with Upset Child and before I knew it, a tiny voice was behind me saying they'd like to have another go.

Concern for my child, and whether I was being judged harshly by those around us, melted as my child conquered their fear and soared through the air, cheered on by the beautiful, supportive people around us.

The takeaway from this is that parents generally try to do what's right for their children, but we're still only human, we're going to get it wrong sometimes.

But it never hurts to support a family - even if you don't always agree with the method to their madness.

Peta Jo is an author and mother of three and is not running away to join the circus anytime soon. Visit her on Facebook.

Topics:  family life parenting



'The ball is in Barnaby's court': Ken O'Dowd

COLLEAGUES: Barnaby Joyce (right) and Flynn MP Ken O'Dowd in 2016.

The Flynn MP came just short of calling for the Deputy PM to resign.

A centuries-old mystery is re-imagined by novelist

FACT OR FICTION?: Trevor Tucker contends it's possible Portuguese sailors stopped at 1770 in the 1500s to access fresh water.

Former Gladstone resident questions official history.

Agnes surfers' taste of swell today short-lived

Amelia McKay enjoying a surf at Agnes Water.

The swell finally arrived, but it won't be here for long.

Local Partners

‘Live maggots’ found in ALDI food

THE NSW woman was expecting a delightful dessert. Instead, she says she discovers live maggots wriggling in her food.

Coast snake-catcher has scarily close encounter

CLOSE CALL: Max Jackson's face-to-face with a snake.

VIDEO: Watch the moment a snake lands on the man's face

The four different types of drinkers

New research has found that there are four different types of drinkers.

Ever stopped to consider why it is you choose to drink?

Beloved family pup baited in South Mackay

Staffordshire bull terrier Toby, who was allegedly baited in South Mackay on Friday.

Police investigating after pup given rat poison

Alice Springs is the new motoring mecca for testing

Hyundai i30 was tested at Alice Springs.

Alice Springs has becomes new test location for foreign carmakers.

Road test review: BMW i3s is assault from battery

BMW has updated its i3 electric car, with the addition of a new i3s model which starts from $69,900.

BMW's new i3s proves green can also be mean.