Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Real parenting

With a soon-to-be 6 year old, a 4 year old, and a soon-to-be 2 year old, my parenting thus far has consisted of keeping people warm and safe and fed and loved and happy.  I am happy to report that thus far I think I have done well.  There have been a few instances lately that have required real parenting.  Like the kind where you are really shaping their thoughts and feelings about certain situations based on how you react and what you discuss with them.  Real thoughtful discussions are held, it's not just parenting and teaching through example anymore.  They're starting to really get it.  

In planning Drew's birthday party, I gave her the freedom to invite whomever she'd like.  She decided very quickly that she wanted only a girl party.  She decided she'd like to invite all the girls in her class, one other little friend in another class, and one BOY in her class whom she has been friends with for two years now.  I knew that could be tricky, and hurtful to some to possibly know that they weren't chosen to be invited.  I almost told her not to invite the one boy, that an all-girl party was an easy explanation (fix) for any possible hurt feelings.  Then I thought that this is her party and she wanted her friends to be there, adding the one boy would be fine.  We discussed - TWICE - that she was not to utter to anyone the words, "You're not invited to my party."  We talked about how that would make someone feel, blah, blah, blah.  I told her teachers we'd had this discussion and should they hear anything to please let me know.  Well, today Drew told one of the boys that he was not invited, that _______ was the only boy invited.  UGH.  According to her teacher, the little boy didn't seem to be affected by it but I was pissed. 

We came home and I asked Drew to tell me all about it.  She did, all the while with her tail between her legs.  She is not the kind of kid who gives a shit about things very often so when I saw the true remorse and shaky voice I was THRILLED.  I have a tendency to beat a dead horse so trust me, this went on and on.  I asked her what we should do and she said she should write an aplogy to the little boy.  I thought that was a great idea. 

So, the real parenting begins I guess.  I feel very comfortable being the mommy to a 5 year old and under.  In fact, give me a 0-2 year old and I'm in my element.  This real parenting stuff freaks me out a little.  I think I'm a good person and I'll always instill the right thing to do in my kids but I'm just not sure I have the energy for it.  Just let me keept them warm and safe and fed and loved and happy.  That I can do all day long with very little effort.  Now the real work begins...

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  1. Whether or not you feel you're in your element, I think you're doing a great job with "real parenting". The fact that you covered your bases (telling her teacher the situation so you have extra eyes) is awesome planning. These are teachable moments.

  2. The little boy's reaction to receiving the note will be, "What? Oh okay, whatever." But it's still a good idea. The boy may not care, but Drew probably isn't going to want to write many more apology notes. So problem solved, I'd say! Another job well done, you!


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