You gotta let them get muddy

muddy sneakersOne thing I’ve learned as I’ve been a parent of three kids is that you must let your kids get muddy.

We were hiking up near an alpine lake, and the water level was way below normal. The water must have drained fast, as the remaining lake bed was one big mud pit.

My kids know me well enough that they asked Heather and me if they could run around out there. I had no problem saying, “Sure!” In fact, I joined them.

I’ve seen a lot of parents doing the “helicopter parenting” thing – swooping in whenever anything goes wrong and rescuing their kids from harm. Sometimes kids have to learn the hard way. Of course there’s a balance in this… you don’t want your 3-year old to learn about hot stove burners the hard way.

In short, relax.


4 Replies to “You gotta let them get muddy”

  1. That is exactly how my parents raised me, but probably because I’m their third child. Did you “baby” your first child, before you realized he wasn’t made of glass?

    My favorite example of this type of parenting was when I literally cracked my skull while skateboarding late at night. I called my Mother from a payphone and explained the circumstance and she replied “could it wait until tomorrow?” =0)

    The World needs more parents like you and Heather! Your children are truly blessed to have such a cool fam.


    1. Thanks James!

      Our first-born … we sadly were too rules-oriented. But we have lightened-up over the years. (He’s 18 now.)

      1. Looking back at my military-strict father’s rules, I know he only had the best intentions and wanted what he thought was best. I’m sure your son will feel the same way.

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