Have you read the "The Overprotected Kid" by Hanna Rosin?
I did a few weeks ago. It's a long read, but it has stuck with me.
Since then, I have decided to parent a little less like everyone else nowadays, and a little more like how I was raised.
My parents weren't constantly around when we played outside in the backyard. They weren't there to settle arguments, or to point out how hitting your sister in the head with the baseball bat was wrong, or to help us learn how to swing. Sure, they would show us once, and then we were on our own. I think most parents were like that "back then".
I am trying to be a little more like that.
like the days I would spend hours outside playing silly games...coloring on the sidewalk, flooding out the ants, jumping in the pond and trying to hide all the wet clothes from my mom in the hamper (and thinking I had succeeded....)
If you haven't read it, I think you should. I find myself "checking" myself when I try to tell the boys what to do, how to do it, or if I should let them know I am watching. The media has terrified the parents of this generation into thinking everything bad is going to happen to our kids. While its true that bad things are going to unfortunately happen, we can't live in fear and we can't hold our kids back. Maybe other parents are better at this (but based on the hovering at the playground, I don't think so).
I was talking to one of my teacher friends who is getting his masters currently (elementary teacher), and he said they are starting to teach future teachers this now and they have a name for it -- "natural consequences". That made me laugh!
Let your kid learn the "natural consequences" of their actions. nice.