I was watching Finding Nemo with my girls the other day realizing that I was getting a parenting seminar while they were enjoying a movie. It made me think about "permissive parenting" and when it is okay to say yes. You might not think of me as a permissive parent if you read this blog but I think there are times when I would describe myself as such.
Finding Nemo would have been a much different movie if Marlin had known when to let go, right? If he had trusted his son on his fishy field trip and not let his fear rule his parenting, there would have been no "finding" involved in the movie. But we can't say yes all the time, right? The trick is knowing the when to let them swim with the big fish and when to keep them in the anemone.
There are a lot of things that as a mom, I let my kids try because I don't want them to rebel and think I never let them experience new things. Make-up is one example. When my daughters come in my bathroom while I'm applying make-up, they will often ask to wear some. I always sweep on a little blush or dab on a touch of lip gloss so they feel like I'm saying "yes" while not sending them out like a painted lady. They have never gotten into my make-up bag because they know it is not off-limits and if they ask, I will oblige. I'm probably crazy for letting them crack eggs for every dessert recipe, but they love it and worse case scenario, I have a little clean up and one less egg.
There are things that are totally off the table for my kids to try but we talk about those things and why we, as their parents, feel that way. Parenting is a fine balance and I'm trying to walk it out every day. I'm just trying to keep them from swimming straight for the boat.