Thursday, July 26, 2007

The Art of Discreet Surveillance

An important part of living is to learn from one's mistakes. At work we joke that if it doesn't kill us, it will make us stronger. The same is true for our child. One of my jobs as a parent is to keep our daughter away from the dangerous mistakes. This is where I have learned about the art of discreet surveillance. Here are the principles that I follow:

Watch from a distance. In controlled situations (e.g family gatherings, play groups, activities with friends), we will allow our daughter complete freedom, and watch from afar. It's enough distance to let her experiment, be more daring and find out about her limits. Of course, there are numerous eyes watching out for her. Also, we are there should she experience any trouble.

Talk about the topic. Even though our daughter will turn three in the fall, we have conversations about the times she is not with us. We ask her about pre-school and the church nursery. She will tell us about her activities, other classmates, and if something is bothering her. Thus, we can learn a bit about the times when we are not with her.

Encourage new activities when with us. We try to expose our daughter to new things while she is with us. As a result, we get to see and understand how she reacts to new situations when she is not with us.

Discreet surveillance has worked for many elements, e.g. toilet training, pre-school experiences, using the stairs, painting and playing. Hopefully, discreet surveillance will work as well with future challenges, such as driving, dating and even personal finances. :-)

For more on Crossing Generations , check back every Thursday for a new segment.

Photo Credit:, Mary R. Vogt

This is not financial or parenting advice. Please consult a professional advisor.

Copyright © 2007 Achievement Catalyst, LLC

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Great topic. I want to keep my girls safe from harm yet let them express their independence. Sometimes it's hard!

Thank you for sharing this with the Carnival of Family Life. Your post will be included in the July 30th edition at An Island Life.