I am not a child psychologist - I'm just a parent of three amazing kids that I a so grateful to be their mom! I have learned so much about kids, but mostly about myself during the years of being a mother. Kids will show you how strong you are, and they will reveal the areas that you need just a teeny bit of work on. Parenting isn't easy, but it's way better when you have guidance. We are the guide for our children, but we need guidance as well. I get my guidance from God. I wish that I had learned the true meaning of being guided by Christ years ago, but I'm just thankful that I learned.
This morning I was thinking about a conversation that my husband and I were having about our kids, and we had to laugh. It wasn't a humorous laugh as in funny, but a grateful laugh. We went out of town for four full days with the knowledge that we were there for business, and could possibly be limited on having fun like we were on vacation. We were able to do a few things (including shopping), but we didn't know how that would work out initially.
When my husband said, "Honey, you know we have an almost 18 year old, and a 21 year old who chose to go out of town with their parents instead of staying home without supervision. Honestly, when I think of our children having no supervision, I'm okay with that because they have proven to me that they are capable and responsible enough to take care of themselves. They have in the past, so I trust that choice. Our children went to and stayed in a hotel room for four days and was just fine because they were with us. How cool is that!? Yes, the daughter would complain here and there about being bored, but we were like, "You came and what would you be doing if you were home? Exactly! Not much more than you are doing now--looking at your phone and watching TV while lying in the bed." I plan to make some changes there though. Yes, I've told her that changes were in the making, even if I have to shut it off at a certain time; but if that's all that I have to worry about, I'm good. Trust me, I look at the screen to see what she's looking at on YouTube and the Snapchatting stories she is watching. I make sure to let them know what they take into their 'eye gates' is what enters their hearts.. That's another story for another time.
After we finished talking about our children and the way they are, I thought about how kids should be allowed to be kids! Our kids are very mature, but they have a kid side to them that I love! When we stay in the hotel room, they share a bed and I tell you they remind me of JJ and Thelma from Good Times. They mess with each other until they fall asleep. Talking about one another and pulling covers - I'd much rather see that than them not speaking to each other. Some other things that I thought about was how my mom raised me and my sisters. She allowed us to be girls. When we wanted a baby doll and a Barbie doll for Christmas, we never heard, "Y'all are too old for dolls!" As long as your child is healthy in the mind and growing properly, allow them to put the dolls down themselves. Same for boys. Allow them to be boys. Kids have very few years to be kids, and all of their life practically to be an adult. Wouldn't you like to go back and be a kid sometimes just to drop some of the troubles and responsibilities that came with adulthood? I know I have had that thought many times. Too many to count as a matter of fact. They know when they want to put those things down. They have enough outside criticism and demands, and they don't need them from home.
If your daughter wants to go into the Disney store and buy something with Mickey or Minnie on it...let her! If your son wants a Jurassic Park figure to just put on his dresser - let him! If it's that only part of them that connects them with their childhood - so be it. It's okay. They know when and where to put it away. My oldest son loved Piglet. He was upset when he lost Piglet. My nephew loved Alf and Pink Panther. He called Pink Panther his son for years! He finally knew where Pink Panther needed to go and when he needed to stay home. He was a star athlete and loved girls, but he allowed the kid in him to remain. If we don't remind our children of how old they are and setting standards as to what they should and shouldn't be doing, then we can take something away that they need. Like I said, I'm not talking about a situation where a child is psychologically behind or is suffering from some form of mental illness. I'm not equipped to weigh in on that. I'm talking about kids that are healthy mentally, and have age-appropriate decision making qualities.
Normally, if mom and dad says it's okay, then the kids will feel there is some truth in that. That is why my guidance must come from something greater than myself. so that I can guide them accordingly.