Wednesday, May 14, 2014
Letting Them Fail: When to hang up the super mom cape
I jump to Love Monster’s defense a lot. I always have. I knew early on that her impulse control issues were more then the average 2 or 3 year old. My suspicions were confirmed after a few therapists agreed she presented the symptoms of ADHD and sensory issues. So I’ve jump to her defense when the word bully was thrown around. But over the last few years she’s made astounding progress. She knows how to control her impulses much better. But sometimes issues pop up and surprise me, reminding me she has trouble with it sometimes. I am particularly protective of her. I feel like she is misunderstood at times. I wish I could morph into super-mom in a killer teal and white full body leotard and shoot protection candy coating out of my wrists and shield my daughters with a wall of their favorite bubble gum flavored candy. Pew! Mean kid. Pew! Bad spelling test. Pew! That curb that came out nowhere. They would think I was so cool. Forget that negative craziness. Look kids! Candy! Pew! Pew! I love making that noise.
I was scared a lot I think as a kid. Besides of the usual no ones likes me, I suck at everything worries I had, I was fairly sure the wave pool would be my demise. And the dark. Of course. But now I’m older and I’m not quite as scared and I just stay away from stupid wave pools and I become super mom with the protecting candy coating power. I don’t want them to have that fear. So I do my best to not let them fail. That was my biggest fear. Bigger then the wave pool. Failing.
Recently I was talking to someone. Love Monster was playing behind the person I was talking to. She locked eyes with me, smiled a sweet smile and snuck over and blew the biggest raspberry in this someone’s face. This person was pissed. Very pissed. Should LM have done that? No. Did she mean to do something bad? Nope. She was having fun and showing her love. I corrected her (I know you do not spit in people's faces), but I also knew her intent. And when her face crumbed not understanding that she did something wrong, I went into super mom mode, but my super candy coating power was too late.
“When I was six I knew better,” my friend said wiping spit off their face.
“She has issues!” I said back very upset.
And though this is true, it got me thinking.
I won’t always be there to jump to her defense.
Protecting Love Monster (and Smirker for that matter) from failure or making mistakes is not always the right thing to do. They are not always going to get things right. (Duh. They insist on proving this point constantly.) They need to learn how to take responsibility for themselves. This may be super obvious to you. Maybe it should be to me, but after years of seeing people misinterpret my daughter, my protectiveness became an impulse. And shielding her from the consequences became the norm.
Letting your kids fail…. A necessary lesson? I think so. Sometimes. I don’t want to see it. I don’t want to watch. But the magic is in the after.
I read on another blog, "Failure is an opportunity to get your child to look at himself."
I really liked that. We see our kids failing as this horrible thing. She’s gonna hate herself. Self-esteem is everything. The pain on their faces. No way. I don’t want that. But thinking about it as an opportunity. An opportunity to look at themselves…. and learn. Even instill self confidence and self-appreciation. So when you aren’t there and they fail, they will be equipt to no only deal with it, but grow from it. I’ve made countless mistakes. I must be one incredible human being. (I kid! But man have I learned a lot.)
Love Monster can handle it now. I know she can. She’s smart and stronger then I give her credit for.
2 out of 10 on the spelling test? No not going to ask the teacher if she can take it again. That’s what she got and it’s okay that she won’t get her treat this week for doing well. We’ll practice the words and next time it will be better.
Next time she acts out, I won’t jump to her “issues” to being the cause. Yes the issues exist, but so does the smart growing girl who is learning how to control them.
But hell if I ever let them near a wave pool.
I trust my non-crazy instincts will know when I really should interfere. And when I shouldn’t, I will restrain my super mom powers and let my girls develop super powers of their own. But I will still pew the hell out of that mean kid. And by pew I mean kill em with ever lovin’ kindness. The extra gooey kind.
This was the best super mom type picture I have.
Battlestar Galactica Viper pilot, Code name: Fox
San Diego Comic Con 2013
Yep I'm nerdy so what???