Well, I may fuel a fire here today and loose a reader or two but I just can’t help but speak up about this.
So yesterday I got a comment on the post I wrote about Caleb wanting to keep Reed through the night… and how we let him…etc..etc… you can read it HERE.
I knew there would be someone(or more) who thought we weren’t “right” in allowing our son to watch his baby brother during the night… but in all honesty it surprises me a bit that someone would think we are SELFISH for doing this.
Heres the comment:
“You know, I just don’t think this is right. You are the parent, not your son. It’s great that he’s so interested but he needs to be a boy – not take on any of the responsibilities for an infant. You and your husband are being selfish. I think there are many reasons he may be asking to help out as much as he does, perhaps because he has seen you struggling which worries him so he feels like he needs to take some of your burdens to ease his fears? Either way, I don’t think it’s right. I appreciate that this is your family and that you’re making decisions you think are right for you – but you put it out there and I have been feeling very strongly about how much you rely on Caleb that I thought I’d comment.”
Now everyone is welcome to their opinion…. but I am just as welcome to “comment back” on them here.
… I was going to go through a VERY long list of “how we are so ‘NOT’ selfish” as parents but I don’t feel the need to defend myself in that way. I know very well the many sacrifices I’ve made for my children and I know I am far from “selfish” in regards to being their mother.
.. but what struck me so much in this comment more than the selfish remark.. was the remark on how we should let Caleb be, A BOY… and how he should not have to take on ANY responsibility for an infant.”
…. now maybe Im just different in my thinking here… but whats more important… teaching a child to grow up and play and do what “they want to.”…. or teaching a child to serve? and even more so, serve willingly!
That being said, Caleb obviously is aware that his mother struggles some days. Especially the 1st few months of Reed’s life, we were very open with our children in letting them know mommy was extremely tired… and was having a hard time. I for one am not one to “put up a face” just for the sake of “pretending im ok.” – We dont want our children to know “everything” and they dont… but I so desire for our children to realize the world does not revolve around “them” and that they need to give too.
For weeks now Caleb has been begging to keep Reed at night. We obviously did not allow this because we knew that Caleb needed his rest and that it was more important for him to sleep, than to help in this area, even though he wanted to do it.
Each passing week though he’d ask again… and again..
“Pleaseeee can I pleaseeee sleep with baby Reed?”
He truly desired to do this and he was elated and so so excited when we finally gave in and said “Sure, why not.”
He grinned from ear to ear and could not wait for bed time that evening. Most night times Caleb protest bed time, wanting to “stay up a little later.” Not this particular night :) – he was eager and ready to sleep in Reed’s room.
We never asked Caleb to do this.
We never forced it on him.
If anything we discouraged it. :)
… but to me, why not let your child who truly desires to “try” something, try it… there is no harm in it at all… and the outcome of him doing it resulted in Caleb being filled with a sense of accomplishment and joy. He was so excited to talk about his “night with Reed.”
I loved hearing about it and seeing him so happy to serve.
Now, in case some “thought” I was going to go with what Caleb wanted… we will not “go on a rotation” haha… While Id love full nights of sleep, I realize Caleb is only 8 years old and his body is growing and he needs rest. If a few weeks pass by and he wants to do it again, ill let him. It will have to happen on nights he doesn’t have school the following day :) – but either way, I am not going to discourage my child from wanting to serve and help out, especially when he truly loves too.
To me our society is so bent on “doing” for their children and forget that children need to be trained and taught to “do” as well…
I am very proud of Caleb.
He is 8 years old and he can do more than most kids his age. So often I see children his age who care about nothing but themselves and what THEY want…. what will benefit them and they could honestly care less to help, unless “helping” results in “a prize” or “payment.”
Thankful he is turning out to be such an honorable young man.
….and whoever wishes to be first among you shall be slave of all. “For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.” Mark 10:44-45