Last night my youngest was upset that he still needed me in his room at night to tuck him in. He felt bad that he still worried about monsters under the bed, even though he knew such a thing did not exist. I asked him why he was upset, I didn’t mind being there for him. He told me he was the only fourth grader that still wanted to be tucked in, that he shouldn’t still need me.
My child is nine.
At nine he was distraught because he still needed his mother.
I don’t think anyone actually told him they don’t get tucked in, and I’m pretty sure no one made him feel bad about this. He is like his mother, he begins thinking about things and spirals down from there.
What I do wonder is where he got the idea that by nine he should be able to handle all the things on his own. Where is he seeing the push to grow up as fast as possible? Why does he think it’s a bad thing to just be a child and receive the support he needs from his parents?
What’s the hurry?
Let’s make sure we aren’t asking our kids to handle too much too soon. It’s a delicate balance, guiding them towards independence and maturity while still leaving space for childhood.
Let’s make sure they know when things are more than they can handle, there is no shame in turning to us for help. You are never too old to turn to your parents for guidance and support.
Let’s make sure they can face the monsters under the bed before we leave them alone in the dark.