If you’re anything like me, you’ve had numerous occasions where you didn’t know weather you should intervene or stand down. I feel like I have these moments several times a day. I want my girls to explore natural consequences for their actions. I will lead them but I don’t want to control them. It’s a hard balance.
I want them to test their bodies and climb outside the boundaries, literally and figuratively. I want them to wear sneakers to parks with mulch but sometimes they have to get annoyed with the mulch in their crocs before they can learn. I want them to try first and then ask for help. I want them to stand up for themselves. I want to be there to comfort them when they get hurt, physically and emotionally. I also want them to have the skills required to cope when I am not hovering.
Yesterday a beautiful thing happened when we were having a playdate at a local park. Morgan and Em found their niche within a group of four other girls. The six of them had a marvelous time until… name calling began. I didn’t see or hear what led to the jeer but I heard.
“You’re a baby. You look like a baby and you act like a baby” said the three year old “A” to a slightly shorter three year old “B”. “B” looked devastated and was about to cry. My Mommy instincts were kicking in and I was headed straight over to set things straight. When suddenly Morgan spoke up. “She is not a baby and those are not nice words. You need to talk nice to your friends or they won’t want to play with you”. I could not have been more proud. I had the biggest smile plastered across my face and I took a step back.
I need moments like that everyday. Moments when some of what we are trying to instill in them sticks. They may be running in circles around the cashier at target, screaming at each other over the better side of the bathtub, or leaving a trail of toys all over the house – I need to focus on the big picture and stay strong.
What victories have you had with your kids this week? When was a time that you were extremely proud of them?