Archive for September 2011
Calling all VIPs, that’s Very Important Parents (yes you!). It’s time again to do a shout out to yourself. Sing your own praises because you are a very important parent to your child. Everyday there are amazing things that you do that make a difference to your child. It doesn’t have to be big. The little things ARE big to a child.
A few weeks back I posted about my sons’ Super Hero Club and how it made me think about how parents are super heroes too. I invited other parents to share their stories of heir parental superhero powers and was touched by the beautiful stories shared.
I am putting out another call for snippets of your superhero feats. “Why?” you ask, because I absolutely believe it will make a big difference in your life to acknowledge your own achievements as a parent. Its not about having me acknowledge you (although I would gladly do that as I know just how hard parents work) but for you to be proud of yourself. If we are always looking to others for appreciation and acknowledgement it sometimes may mean that we are waiting a long time. Especially if we are expecting it from our children, who by the very nature of their being children, tend to be more self focused (like praising themselves and how good they are at everything!)
It’s about self love after all. We need to look inside not outside ourselves for recognition, then and only then will we see an authentic confidence from our children who learn from us that they need to accept themselves first in order for others to accept them. When we sing our own praises for things we are truly proud of, our children learn that its okay to be proud of the things we are good at and we don’t have to make up things to be proud of. It is our authenticity in all of this which teaches our children, they don’t have to boast or build themselves up as good at everything. Instead of bragging they will be too busy basking in their own true proud moments.
There is no need for insecure boasting in the efforts to seek praise outside onesself. Do you see what a gift you give your child when you acknowledge and praise youself without expecting recognition from others? Your children learn that the way they feel about what they do is more important than whether others think it’s great or not. There is no need then for external rewards to do things well. There is no need to do things because a peer says it’s what should be done or tried. They begin to rely on themselves and their own judgement instead of the judgement of others. They learn to trust that intuition that we all have but may have lost touch with.
Now is the time to share your amazing feats as a parent with the world no matter how small. Who knows you just might inspire another parent and start a ripple effect.
On Not Being Sheep …
The other day we dropped our kids off at camp, reluctantly. That is to say they went reluctantly. There was a trip planned for the day that meant they has to go on a school bus for 2 1/2 hrs. Not that long for them considering they have gone on car trips that take 6 plus hours on our way to canoe in Temagami. So why were they reluctant? I have a confession: we are one of those families that don’t have a game boy Nintendo (or whatever mechanical hand held device that is popular) for one to stare madly at while playing games. Have they played? Yes on their friend’s. Do they play any games? Yes just not daily or even weekly.
So when the director of the camp gave the ok for kids to bring their electronics for the bus ride since it was such a long ride, guess what my 11yr old wanted to do? Bring the iPod of course since it has games on it. Geeze you’d think the trip was about the school bus ride and not the actual destination. My husband and I felt torn. As we so often do given our different life choices of minimal tv, electronic games, and veganism. Of course it wasn’t as simple as allowing him to take the iPod.
- His brother wanted to bring something and there wasn’t anything appropriate
- like most 11 yr olds our son has a tendency to loose things.
We don’t want to buy into the “give them electronic games and they will behave/shut up/ sit still mentality” which is what we felt the camp was doing. Afterall (I told my son ) when your dad and I were kids we didn’t have these kinds of electronics we would just sing on the school bus or play other interactive games with our peers.And come to think of it kid’s aren’t allowed to bring electronics with them on school trips either. Geeze what will they do? Oh no does this mean they have to talk or even interact with their peers?!! ok I know I am sounding somewhat snarky.
The point is, well, it’s two fold. Firstly the camp giving the go ahead is a set up for kids who don’t normally carry around these games in their pocket. Whines of “But everyone else will have one” are ineveitable. To me it is sad if that is the case.
So while my son’s point should not be the basis for our decision or any of his for that matter (flash to the future: everyone else smokes … everyone else drinks, everyone else ….) it puts a parent in a tough position. Do we compromise our values because every other parent allows their children to “fill in the blank”. We certainly don’t! Are we sheep or do we choose what is right for our family?
In the end we chose what we felt fit for our family, which was no electronics. We were’nt very popular that morning but you know what? At the end of the day it was forgotten and we felt good about our decision to stay with our values and not flock like sheep to someone elses’ values that are not a match.