One 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.