As adults it is all too easy to assume that our problems and issues are the only real problems and issues that we face as families. After all, the loss of a job could threaten the roof over our families head, the decision on whether to take a promotion could mean we’d have to move house and even the decision on what to have for dinner could arguably (in the overall scheme of things from a nutritional standpoint) be a more important decision than whether to play with Colin and Bill at lunch time if they’re playing something that you don’t want to play.
It is very difficult at times to treat our kids worries and concerns with the amount of gravity they deserve because to us they seem trivial. Our eldest often gets the right hump when he knows he has to spend the next morning at school planning a story because he hates planning a story. Fifi sometimes worries about who to play with at lunch time, Ned worries about where the next snack will come from. To me, these can all too easily be silly worries but, in theory at least, I have the experience and emotional growth to be able to deal with them, while my kids don’t necessarily have the ability to do this.
Having said that, there is a thin line to tread between being supportive and being overprotective. I know personally I was “overprotected” for all the best reasons as a youngster and didn’t get a thick skin or the self confidence that learning from the normal knocks life brings until I was well into my twenties but it is difficult, even knowing that, to let my own kids work their way through difficult situations and find their own solution.
Life generally can be difficult at any age can’t it?