The Daily Groove

Protectiveness vs. Trust

Sometimes we think our "job" as parents is to protect our children from ever experiencing pain. Parenting then becomes an endless series of warnings, both subtle and dire.

This approach backfires as it disconnects children from their inner Guidance.

When we allow them to risk the pain of skinned knees and bruised egos, they hone their ability to follow their Pleasure. When we don't impose guidance on them, they learn to seek our guidance when they really need it.

Riding bicycles one day with my daughter, I was about to warn her as she approached a patch of loose gravel, but something in me said, "Button your lip, Daddy!"

My gut told me there was no serious danger, and she stood to gain more whole-body wisdom by feeling the looseness of the gravel than by being made to think about it.

As your child discovers his or her world, notice when you're about to offer advice, ask yourself whether it's really necessary, and trust your Inner Guidance.

Comments (closed)


I often have other parents think that my kids are alone on the playground becasue I am not hovering over them. But at Two and four, I sit back and watch them and run when they really need me. I trust them to navigate the equipment and learn their limits.

I think more parnets need to hear that inner voice and let their children learn!

Re: Trust

I'm always amazed by the way my children come "equipped" with instincts that support them in their *knowing*. Even my daughter, once capable of moving/crawling seemed to know when the wood stove was too hot to go near and when it was cool and able to be explored. My husband thinks I'm a little nuts, but she has yet to burn herself...