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by Sarah on July 14th, 2011

Our electricity went off last night, and so we dotted candles around the lounge for light. Lily was very intrigued by the flames and kept attempting to touch the one. Graeme would try to pull her hand away, and then suddenly I remembered advice I’d been given long ago. It was about the importance of allowing our children to learn their own lessons. We can explain the consequences of their actions to them, so, tell them the good and bad that could come from their decision, but then leave them to choose.

Both Graeme and I explained to Lily that the flame was hot and that she could burn and hurt herself, if she touched it. It was very scary, but also so interesting, to stand back and watch. You could see her little mind churning, and her hand moving back and forward, back and forward, until she eventually touched the flame. Needless to say that there were big tears, but they died down very quickly, as soon as I put her finger on ice. Another new lesson!

While it was incredibly difficult to watch our child hurt herself, we both felt an immense sense of pride in ourselves that we hadn’t interfered with the lesson which Nature taught her: if you touch fire, it burns. I think too often us parents want to protect our children from hurt. We let our own fears stop them from following life’s natural processes, instead of allowing them to experience life fully, whatever that might bring…

From → Parenting Stuff