I just dropped Aditi off for her first solo playdate at her best friend’s house. She said bye to me without even the barest trace of hesitancy. Of course, this isn’t so surprising considering that she goes to preschool already but every time she hits a milestone I think, ohmigod I am not ready for this. To me, she always seems so mature, so poised that I can’t even handle it, except of course when she throws one of those tantrums, the kind that happens to other people in supermarkets. On one hand I am afraid though that I take her maturity for granted, that in fact my expectations of her may be too high. This, in turn sometimes sparks the fear that maybe I may be taking it all too easy. I guess this is something she’ll have to figure out in therapy one day 🙂 How can you tell how you’re doing as a parent, if you’re hitting the sweet spot as described in this article?
Parental involvement has a long and rich history of being studied. Decades of studies, many of them by Diana Baumrind, a clinical and developmental psychologist at the University of California, Berkeley, have found that the optimal parent is one who is involved and responsive, who sets high expectations but respects her child’s autonomy. These “authoritative parents” appear to hit the sweet spot of parental involvement and generally raise children who do better academically, psychologically and socially than children whose parents are either permissive and less involved, or controlling and more involved.
Somedays I hope just by aiming for it, you’ll land in that general area. Here’s hoping!