Parenting Page: The Long Short Hall
This is a parenting page, about parenting Page. I am a child psychologist and a mother. So I specialize in children, yet I am human, thus I am full of knowledge and yet as full of emotions as any other parent. So I decided to write this Parenting Page since it might be informative and funny for others to take an insider look at a child specialist raising her child. I also wanted to create a way to show Page when she grows up, if she chooses to have children, a real-life view of the experience. I hope you enjoy these stories and musings. (They will not be in any chronological order.)
The Long Short Hall
Sometimes I know when my husband and I are being crazy, and we still can’t stop it, even when we discuss out loud how crazy we are. Before preschool started, we went in for our 1-1 with the teacher. She explained how it was fine to walk our daughter to class at drop off, though eventually it would be best to transition to dropping her off at the door to the school and letting her walk down the short hall to class.
IS SHE CRAZY?! My husband and I exchanged a quick glance, which we both knew to mean, “No way in hell is our child walking down a hall all by herself! She’s just a baby!” The teacher, no doubt noticing our nervous glance, explained it was good, so Page could start to develop a sense of independence. Independence? She’s 4! At this point my brain is kicking in to wrestle with my emotions, noting it is important for preschool children to be allowed to do appropriate tasks in a safe environment to develop independence, which has the terrific positive impact of building self-confidence. Oh crap! Either I have to let my baby wander off by herself into the big dangerous world, or I have to not let her and impede the development of her self-confidence. My husband and I left our meeting and as we were walking down the hall my husband was saying, “Is that woman serious? There is no way Page is ever walking in by herself.” And I am responding, “I know, I know, I agree. You know we’re crazy, don’t you? I mean, we’re nutso right now.”
I believe at about half way through the year Page started walking into preschool some days on her own. No thanks to us if I recall. I think one day she simply said, “Just drop me off Mom. I’ll run in.” Smart girl; I’m pretty sure it wouldn’t have worked had she asked Daddy. He’s the most crazy. And proud of it.
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Dr. Tina Lepage is the owner of Lepage Associates Solution-Based Psychological & Psychiatric Services, a group practice in S. Durham/RTP. She lives in Chapel Hill with her husband, daughter, and two dogs. You can find her on twitter at @LepageAssoc or at Facebook.com/LepageAssociates.