Written by Kara Anderson of Quill and Camera
I used to do this thing when my kids were small.
When we would enter a busy place, I would sort of situate them in front of me, and waddle behind them, steering their shoulders as we navigated the room or store or farmer’s market.
I thought this made sense because if they were in front of me, I could see them. There was less chance of losing them in the crowd.
The problem, of course, was that I was sending a toddler or pre-schooler into the fray ahead of me, with no idea what sorts of sights, sounds and smells they would encounter.
More than once a little one turned around, threw their arms around my kneecaps and started wailing.
How did it possibly take me so long to figure out my mistake – that I was literally pushing my kids into all sorts of unknown situations?
This sort of push-waddle-steer might not be a big issue for a lot of kids.
Kids who would view Disney World as a dream come true instead of a scary, loud, sensory disaster, for instance.
Somebody else’s kids.
But for my kids, doing this was overwhelming and scary.
When I finally realized my mistake I did things differently, and the results were very different. They could enter situations feeling safe and confident.
They knew I was there. That’s a big deal.