30 Day Mom Challenge Day 9: Picture yourself at your child’s age; try to remember how you felt.
This one is very easy for me. I remember all-too-clearly what it was like to be little. Every time I tell my daughter not to talk back she looks at me with that completely clueless face like “I don’t know what that means!” Every time my son talks about the drama of fourth grade, how this one doesn’t like that one anymore. Every time they make a mess and don’t clean it up, every time they drag their feet instead of doing what they’re told. I remember doing that same thing when I was their age.
I worry that sometimes I remember too much about childhood. Because I know what’s in store for them in the years to come, and there’s nothing I can do to save them from themselves and the drama of growing up.
I remember all too clearly what life was like as a teenager. How it seemed like every day seemed to last a lifetime, where every action, word and deed was a new opportunity to make a fool of yourself, or for someone else to do it for you. Growing up is so hard! I wish I could carry them safely through the next 10 years and deposit them safely on the other side, leaving them unscarred and unscathed.
But it’s those scars that shape them, that make them who they are. It’s the difficulties that they’re going to have to endure that will form the character of the people that they are to become.
There’s no way to get through a difficult time except to do exactly that – get through it and do the hard work for yourself. It’s impossible to shelter someone from reality and hope that they’ll be a full-formed person. The pain is part of the process.
So instead of fixing it for them, I’ll equip them with the tools, social skills to build their confidence and, hopefully, help them to see what I see; that they’re amazing and that this small part of life is just that—a small part of their life. I’ll teach them that every person that they deal with each day is a part of their life, good bad or indifferent. That even if someone is unkind to them, it’s in how they handle that situation that makes the most difference. That even if someone doesn’t like them, they do not have to be defined by that; there are plenty of people who love them just the way they are.
My kids are in second & fourth grade this year, and when I was that age, I thought I had the world by the tail. What I needed most from my adults were kindness, love and challenges. And that’s exactly what I’m striving to provide.