“‘Wide Open Spaces’ by The Chicks has been a favorite song of mine for years. As a teen and in my early 20s, I remember relating to it so much.
I’ve always been a free-spirited, independent soul. I remember feeling smothered in a small town, as though I was never allowed to spread my wings the way I wanted.
Now as a mother, this song reminds me to give my girls the space I so desperately longed for.
It’s not always easy, but I know from experience by being given the space to learn and grow and make mistakes, we blossom faster than when we’re constricted.
Is it easy to watch my child from a distance as she does something that makes me nervous? Not always. It has taken practice.
However, every time I do, my girls surprise me. It’s rare they don’t get themselves safely out of a bind when given space to explore, while knowing I’m right there to help them and keep them safe.
When they know this, they calmly maneuver their environment, knowing if they call out for help I’m right there waiting in the wings.
The times I rush in or hover around them nervously are the moments they slip up or falter.
Just like the plants in your garden, when kids are given the proper care and room to grow, they bloom quickly.
I’m not saying to let your toddler outside on their own, or climb the 8-foot rock wall at the park while you sit at a picnic bench.
What I’m suggesting is the next time you see your child get curious about something that makes you nervous, you step back (a safe distance away where you can jump in if needed), take a deep breath, and watch them discover their world around them and create learning experiences.
They will make mistakes, and that is okay. It’s through our mistakes we learn and grow.
So let’s give them wide open spaces, the ones many of us still crave as adults. It’s in this space they will thrive, with you by their sides to support their growth.
Let them grow like wildflowers.”
This story was submitted to Love What Matters by Rachael Krupski of Long Island, NY. You can follow her journey on Instagram and her blog. Submit your own story here, and be sure to subscribe to our free email newsletter for our best stories, and YouTube for our best videos.
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