As a dad, I try to set limits for my kids that I think are reasonable. I’m getting better at picking my battles. It’s always a hard, fine line to walk, to find that perfect balance between being the parent who is super strict, overprotective, sheltering, and disciplined, and the parent who is care-free, fun loving, it’s no big deal type of parent. If I’m too strict that could cause rebellion either now, or later in life. But if I’m too “whatever” then kids grow up to be wild, and I think that somewhere, deep deep down (very deep) in every childs life, they are looking for structure and stability. To know where they stand and to know what is good and bad.
Sometimes there are good reasons for the limits that are set. Sometimes those reasons aren’t good enough. For example, even though it is noble to think that I can get my daughter to try new foods, I’m no longer fighting for lasagna. But there was this time on vacation where I was going to put my foot down. When public safety is at risk, I have to act to protect others.
The line was clear enough. There was a carpeted section and a tiled section at the airport where we were picking up our car rental. The line took us an hour (there really has to be a more efficient way to get a person their keys if they have registered and prepaid online…) While Erica waited in line I took Ella to play nearby. Most of the traffic passed us on the tile section of the airport. People picking up their luggage, those little airport golf carts driving by, all those groups headed for a cruise ship (jealous) all were walking on the tile. The carpetted area was filled with other parents and piles of luggage that people didn’t want to drag through line, so it was an out of the way place to play.
But every two year old knows that lines were meant to be crossed. Almost as soon as I told her to stay off the tile and play on the carpet, I snapped this picture.
It turned into an instant game to her to see if she could get by me. In all reality, I wasn’t too concerned about it, there wasn’t really that much traffic, so I let it go for a while. And eventually she lost interest in her little game and became content to play with the other children on the carpet, too. Just interesting how quickly children test you to break the ‘rules’!
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