At what point do our kids go from being an adorable little 4-year old who barely have a care in the world and say whatever is on their mind:
“Mommy, something in here smells stinky…and I’m pretty sure it’s you”
To a self conscious 7-year old, who worries what their peers think of them:
“Mommy, I can’t wear my Dora winter boots anymore because Johnny laughed at me and said only babies like Dora”
My goal as a mother has always been to raise my kids to be independent confident people who will grow up strong, fierce, kind and caring individuals; who leave home and go out into the big scary world ready to face it without me.
It’s so much easier when kids are little. If we are at the playground and some kid starts throwing rocks at my 2 year old, I’m going to be right there to step in. But as they get older it gets tricky. We need to prepare out children to deal with these matters themselves.
As my daughter started elementary school last year, I’ve had to watch her face bullies and other challenges. Part of me just wants to hold her tight and protect her from those mean kids and hurt feelings. I want to solve her problems and shelter her from pain and rejection. But I know that’s not my job. My job is to empower her to be strong. To teach her to be heard. To get her to find her voice and speak up when she is afraid, scared or upset. It’s a struggle to find the balance. To protect your kids when they need you, all the while letting them go to figure out the world themselves and let them fall. My hope is that when they do fall, they know I will be here to catch them. And no matter where life takes, them, I will be in their corner whenever they need me.
Until I write again…