Monica asks in her latest post if you are a Key. She writes:
"Parents who are keys often appear to be loving parents because they dote on their kids, wait on them hand and foot, and meet their every need (and more). I have seen teenagers who've never taken the bus on their own, who recklessly squander their parents' money, who wouldn't be able to iron a handkerchief if their lives depended on it.
Beneath the veneer of what these parents call love, I believe is a deeper issue - one of insecurity. Whether conscious or sub-conscious, raising dependent children reflects on parents' more insidious fears that they will one day not be needed, so they strive to be indispensable in their kids' lives."
So...am I a Key? Well, no daughters so don't have to be a Key to lock them up :P
I am a Key in one area...worrying about PSLE and DSA, that's it. If there weren't these two guillotine blades hanging over my head, I wouldn't have anything to actually fret about. I would actually be...GASP!...dispensable. Thank God for PSLE?!!
But in all other areas, I don't think I am a Key at all. When I still had to feed Sean, you should see how impatient I was, scolding him at mealtimes for taking too long, and telling him how 3-year olds could already eat by themselves, AND with chopsticks too!
Brian has been doing stuff for himself and helping his brother for years now. But Sean has become very independent too. Since Sean started happily eating a big plate of food by himself every meal, my role has been reduced to being my kids' favourite chef. In the evenings, when he's tired, he says good night and tucks himself to bed while the rest of us continue doing whatever we're doing. He's the first to wake up every morning. This morning, he brushed his teeth, prepared his breakfast of jam and bread with milk, changed into layers of winter clothing, gloves and winter boots, and he's all set for school. This would never happen if my Mum, definitely a Key, were still taking care of them. I remember my maid was still helping to change Brian into his uniform when he was in Primary 1.
The boys still don't make their bed or tidy up their room daily, and I don't do that for them either. So it helps that I'm not fastidious about having a tip top home. But when my mood strikes, or when we're having guests, I will order, "Clean up in 5 minutes, anything not in its place gets thrown out." You should see how fast they scurry. I have to admit, they are much better at tidying up than I am.
I don't hang around in school to find out if they have friends or not, or if they're being bullied. If there's a problem, I presume they'll settle it themselves and only tell me if they can't. Rest assured though if there is a problem, the protective Mother Hen in me will be there to take care of it. My kids know I am on their side always and will be there for them when they need me, but they don't need me hovering and watching over them all the time.
When Brian was still a tot, we were at my friend's house one day, and he fell on their marble floor. Instantaneously, I see my friend and her husband rushing towards him, and I think that frightened him more than his fall did, so he started bawling, when he would normally just pick himself up without so much as an ouch. Aiyoh, I told them to just leave him be; I will know if he requires attention.
We can't be running after our kids for every little bump they encounter, and that applies to all other bumps in life when they're no longer tots. The hardest part of being a parent must be letting go and seeing our kids get hurt, but we've all gone through hurt and rejection, and we're still in one piece. So they'll be fine. Really. REALLY.
So...er...Are You a Key? :)