During one of the few times I engaged in adult conversation, the other moms raised an interesting point: what is the best thing we can give our child?
Most of us opt for food, shelter, clothing, and the occasional treat.
Parenting is a balancing act: Discipline/indulgence, love/standards, chores/free time, healthy foods/treats, and exceptions/bedtime. We all cross the lines one direction or the other; we’re all human. The problem is a repeated crossing, resulting in a spoiled brat or a repressed psycho-maniac destined to employ a therapist in his adult years.
Which brings up my initial point: what is THE best thing we can give our child?
Now, I’m not advocating anything leading to that therapist-consulting lifestyle. No giving gifts then taking them back, scheduling parties you cancel, or withholding affection. Those ideas are just the worst.
What I am instead referring to is good, old-fashioned, naturally-occurring disappointment. When your daughter’s ice cream drops onto the sidewalk, do not buy her another one. If your son’s friend says he can’t hang out after all, don’t scramble around to find a replacement pal.
Instead, allow them to learn one of life’s most valuable lessons: that it sucks. After that they must learn an even more important lesson: that it sucks but we move on and get on with things.
So, really, the best thing we can give our child is not disappointment. It’s how to deal with disappointment. Like it or not, our little birdies will need to be the adults that run the world one day. If we keep on this trend of cleaning up their tearful trails and cushioning their nests with our own feathers, they’re in for that therapist lifestyle after all.
Teaching recovery from disappointment can feel insurmountable. I know; I struggle with the concept myself. I know the lesson’s a crucial one, however, so I’ve been doing the best I can to refrain from stepping in. I’ve also been seeing one of those therapists for myself.
As I usually say, this is for the children. They’re worth it, for the future.
You can do it, Mom or Dad. I believe in you.
Sunday, August 11: “What to Expect When You Tell People You’re Having a C-Section,” a frank post about where opinionated home-birthers can stick it.
Monday, August 12: Wrote a limerick titled, “A Bedtime Limerick.”
Tuesday, August 13: Shared a funny quip from Pinterest.
Wednesday, August 14: Discussed growing your own veggies in “Food Tip 9.”
Thursday, August 15: “Family Vacations for Kids,” a snippet concerning family vacations for kids.
Friday, August 16: Talked about cool hotels with water slides in, “Hotel for …Fun?.”
Saturday, August 17: Shared another funny Pinterest image.
Sunday, August 18: That’s today!
©2019 Chelsea Owens