Monday, July 11, 2016

The Gift of Negatives

          I was quite shy as a child. I just sort of coasted by.  Always wanted to be special, but I was just average.  My mom was a single parent, so just had basics, no luxuries.  I guess I always told myself that things would be different for my kids, and I am setting out to make that true LOL but that is not always the best thing to do.

         Every disappointment or sadness as a child, while at time was awful, was in fact preparing me for adulthood.  I am guilty of being one of those moms that has made life easy for their children.  I never wanted them to feel sad, disappointed, or left out, so I try to help them avoid all those feelings.  It is not just me that does it, society also contributes.  Way back when awards were given for 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place. Now everybody gets a participation ribbon.  Nobody is allowed to be a loser, shoot loser is a bad word now in school.  Being a loser teaches an important lesson though, it teaches how to be a good sport.  I recently figured out my daughter is a poor sport :(  she lost a silly game, and instead of being able to laugh and shake it off, she cried.  That sparked this blog.  I took away the gift of losing.  Now she has to learn how to be a good sport all at once.  She is not going to be able to win at everything, that is impossible, so she needs to learn how to deal with it with grace and good humor. 
     My mom gives me grief on this one, I took away the gift of disappointment, by 99% of the time giving my daughter what she asked for.  We'll go to store, she'll want a toy, I say no, but in the end we are walking out with a small toy.  Or if I say she can have one, and she can't decide, crying not because being a brat, but sad for toy that it has to stay in store, we end up with both.  My place is overrun with toys LOL I need to learn to say no, so when she is adult and other adults say no, she can accept and move on.  Crying to get a raise won't work with the boss.
         The last area I actually do fairly well in giving is giving her the gift of boredom.  I had that as a child and looking back it was amazing gift.  Now Staci has an iPad, TV, laptop, ninetendoDS, toys, and relatives to keep her entertained.  She is rarely bored.  Sometimes though she is, and that is when she has to use her imagination. When I take away the electronics, and am busy with school work she is forced to entertain self.  That is when she reads or plays with toys creating fantastical adventures. 
          Boredom begets imagination.  When I was a child there was only 3 TV channels, no video games, and no instant gratification.  I had to find ways to entertain myself.  So I explored the neighborhood, imagining all sorts of outlandish things, when I dug in dirt I was an archeologist looking for treasure, I had a fort made up of old wood and boxes, where I battled invaders, I would swim and pretend I was a mermaid from Atlantis LOL silly kid stuff.  I also knew how to day dream.  Staci has great imagination, but she doesn't daydream.  She is missing out on that fun.
          I still want to give her the best life I can, but I also need to keep in mind that eventually she will have to face life on her own, so I need to prepare her for real world.  So anybody reading this love your kids, give them all the positive stuff you want to, but also give them the gift of the negative.  It shows you love them all the more in the long run.

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