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Hard Learned Lessons

Posted Apr 01 2013 12:00am

I've got this one kid who is just like me.

Everyone comments on it, and although it bugs me to hear that over and over and over again - it does give me a fresh kind of insight into exactly the way said child's mind works. I sat the child down yesterday and shared some lessons - I have zero idea if they will sink in at all, being that this child is OH SO LIKE ME and somewhat, shall we say, stubborn and thick headed (every time I write that I want to write thick heided - I've been reading Outlander again, can you tell??). Said child is super head strong and willful, opinionated and confident - which are AWESOME characteristics in a grown up, but can be off putting to others.

But when I shared this conversation with my husband, he wasn't so enthused. In his mind, said child is, well, a child, and some of these characteristics are just child patterns and habits. In his mind, I'm negative and not behaving as if I'm my child's best cheerleader.

Of course - I disagreed. THERE'S a stunner right there. 

In my mind, I have an important job as a mother - to raise children who aren't annoying, obnoxious and a pain to be around. I am trying to raise adults who think of other people, who are kind and helpful, polite and yet, at the same time, not a push over.

I want said child to know that you have a filter for a reason. That not every thought you think needs to come out of your mouth. That you can think whatever you want, but no one wants to hear it all. That when you make yourself out to be amazing, you need to be careful that you aren't putting others down in the process. That if someone gives you a gift, the proper response is not "But I wanted something different!" - just thank you.

I want my child, and really all of my kids, to realize that other people have feelings - and even if the person you are talking to is older - that doesn't give you the right, or the allowance, to be so open with your thoughts that you insult that person. "That child is young!" isn't, to me, an excuse.

It's a really, really tough line to navigate - I am known for being a plain speaker, for not sugar coating it, for telling the truth all of the time - but I've seen, first hand, that thoughts that are in your head should sometimes STAY IN YOUR HEAD. Not everyone wants or needs to know your feelings on everything.

I've seen firsthand that when I talk about what a great job I've done on something - I need to be careful, because I might be putting the other person in the conversation - one who has made a different choice - down.

Feelings are a tough balance beam and I'm not a good enough gymnast.

I really want my kids to avoid some of the pitfalls that I have fallen into and broken my leg on. I want them to bring themselves up without standing on other people in the process.

Is there a difference between self confidence and arrogance?


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