Welcome to part three of ‘The Guide to Modern Parenting’ with Baby Dove. If you’ve missed the previous posts in the series, please pop back and take a quick read. This post is all about freedom and why it is essential for kids to experience freedom in order to grow  – I’m not just talking about physical freedom but freedom to experience life the way that they need to as children, not only the way we ‘want them to’.

Here’s a mom confession that you may be able to relate to – when life is chaotic and messy and noisy I try and reign it all in to create order which often means retreating back into the safety of my own space where my kids’ noise and tantrums won’t bother anyone else. Sometimes it feels like I need to hide in a bomb shelter with my nearest and dearest until it’s safe to come up for air.

Well, we’ve been parents for almost seven years now and I’ve realised that although it’s less risky to stay downstairs in the bomb shelter, life happens when you say goodbye to fear accept that freedom comes in asking for help sometimes and not caring so much when you kids disrupt your neighbour’s peace and quiet. There is freedom in giving up control and letting go. If we take over and do everything for our kids ourselves (because it’s quicker or less messy that way) then all we’re doing is teaching them that we do it better than them which isn’t doing them any favours.

I’ve read plenty about all the types of parenting styles (authoritative, neglectful, permissive, and authoritarian) which each bring about a different reaction in the children they are used on, but I love the sound of ‘Lighthouse parenting’ which sounds like a happy combination of all the positive parenting techniques from these parenting styles. With lighthouse parenting the goal is for parents to find the balance between keeping our kids ‘off the rocks’ with preparing them to ‘ride the waves’. I like that. Our job is to keep them safe, but also give them the tools they need to take on whatever life throws their way.

When I think about the benefits of lighthouse parenting, Ilan’s first jump off a diving board comes to mind, Yes it was scary and yes it was a little risky but my little boy became a brave little boy when his dad encouraged him to take a leap down to him in the diving pool. As a mom, I naturally worried that he’d fall wrong and snap his spine or slip off the edge of the diving board and crack his head open, but he needed that jump and it was good for him.

Freedom is good for the soul.

*This post is sponsored by Baby Dove as part of their Trust Your Way campaign.

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