I’ve been a daddy for almost 3 1/2 years now. For most of that time, I’ve probably been way to hard on my little girl.
I need to realize that my child is not 33 years old like me. She can’t comprehend all the things I ask her to do. She doesn’t quite understand the principle of cause and effect. She doesn’t quite see that what we tell her is for her own good, and not for our entertainment.
I’ve always been overprotective of things. I never wanted our family dog to wander too far away from my sight when I was a kid. When other parents are a little more carefree than I am, I seem to be the one making sure they don’t break their leg while trying to balance on an upside down chair while doing a one handed hand stand. While other parents may be able to look past these things, I seem to be the one who is worried all the time that my child will run under some elderly person at church and cause them to break a hip.
This morning, I realized I was robbing my child of joy. I went home for an early lunch of pb & j, and while I was eating she kept telling me “Daddy, watch me!” and she would jump as high as she could on the rug in our living room. After about 4 attempts at trying to jump over the rug, I told her to stop. She was shaking the whole house, and I could just see something falling over and breaking.
While Kristen and I were talking, I heard that familiar sound of those feet landing on the floor again…and I reacted quickly. I went to her and said “Daddy asked you to stop jumping in the house” and gave her the stern look that is supposed to work but never does. She looked at me and gave me a frown, and walked away. I took away her joy.
I think there’s a fine line between letting a child have fun and letting a child run wild. I’m always very aware at church service not to let her run too wild. But what’s wrong with her jumping in the house? Not a thing at all. Relax Lane, its just a little girl jumping with all her might. She’s having fun. Lighten up a little, and maybe she’ll see you for the fun guy you really are instead of the grumpy old troll who lives under the bridge. Jump as high as those little legs will let you!
And if you break something, let’s blame mom.