There has been a lot of talk about spoiling children. And for a long time I was the evil mom who put their kid to bed without dinner if they refused to eat what was served or let their child cry it out – because babies cry. Now I am not considered as evil. Today was another day when I came to a parenting crossroads. Today Ila was singing the ABC’s in the car and she missed a few letters. My instinct was to say “good job or good try” with the undertone of everything you do is perfect even if it is not right. But I stopped myself and said “no Ila you forgot some letters and taught her the correct way to say the ABC’s.”
In that car ride I was thinking about how many bosses I had that were total asses and all the challenges I had faced in my life. And the fact that even I was very sensitive about getting yelled at by my boss or getting something wrong in work or life. Ila needed to get used to this. Life isn’t fair or easy.
We were on our way to gymnastics in that car ride. In class a little boy would not listen to the coach and subsequently lost his turn on the trampoline, I was thrilled with the coach – finally someone is helping kids see how things work. Meanwhile another little boy had his mom, grandma and older sister all hovering over him on the balance beam. All I could think was this kid is going to hate women, leave the kid alone let him walk on the balance beam without hovering over him already. How far can he fall?
I can’t spend all my time making my child feel secure, special and inflating her self confidence. I need to teach her to survive the world, and figure out how to be a self sufficient adult. I need her to listen, learn and realize that she will win and lose. She will have a safety net in that we will always love her, but not in a way that hinders her from spreading her wings.
I was shocked the other day when she fell off her scooter – really hard. In the way that I would have been done riding my scooter forever. But she wasn’t she said “oops try again” and after we cleaned up the bloody knees she tried again and again. I was proud, I don’t have that tenacity.
I tell her no, she has rules and chores and she knows that she has to listen or she gets in trouble. Although we haven’t quite figured out what “trouble” is yet. At the end of the day she will be a beautiful person inside and out who can stand on her own two feet and even someday conquer the biggest challenge of all by becoming a mom.