This is quick story about the amazing littles in my life because well…they, along with their Dad, are the reason I write and pretty much the reason I do everything…
A short time ago Dave was home (awesome and rare) and as we sat in our post-pasta dinner glow, (which really means…sipping red wine and stinking like garlic) the girls decided they wanted to race (best pre-bedtime activity ever!!) We have an unusually long house so kid-races can get pretty intense!
On your mark, get set, GO!!
The 3-year-old is very determined, however she was not blessed with long legs and does not have “speed” mastered yet. Her older sister, on the other hand, has been dutifully working on “being fast”. About 3 races in, the little one trips, (as little ones often do) and instead of running to the finish line our loving 5-year-old stops, turns around and says…
“You okay? Yep you’re okay! You can do it! Let’s do it together! We can both win!“
She picks her up, takes her hand and they run off to the other end of the house and I practically burst into tears. I looked over at Dave, took a much deserved gulp of wine and said…
“We are killing it at this parenting thing!”
The next few races were even more amazing as they ran hand in hand “winning” together, followed by my oldest saying…
“You know what mommy, she is pretty little and she doesn’t really get a chance to win so I am going to let her win a few because I want her to feel good”.
Again I was floored. I thanked her for being so thoughtful. Then of course, as an over-thinking, academic, constantly worrying about my kids future therapy bill parent, I instantly jumped in and said…
“Don’t feel like you have to let her win…
she needs to learn how to work hard for what she wants!”
Wow…no pressure kid…but yay you!
I have been working with both girls (and myself) for a while now, teaching them how to pay attention to other people’s feelings and how to shift their perspective so that every experience can be a win-win. I don’t say it exactly like that but I think they are getting the message.
Do I constantly think about what kind of little humans we are creating? YES! Although I have no idea if our parenting style is right or wrong. I don’t know if what we are doing will even make a difference.
However, I can tell you that it feels right!
In those moments when my children express compassion and empathy, like during race night, and/or wonder and excitement, like during time spent together building our family traditions, I know that we have already won!
Parenting is not easy and yet I recently saw it defined so simply…
Remember that children are not interpreters they are mimics so be the person you want your children to become!
Here is my advice to help you feel like you are winning every day…
Know that you are doing the best you can with what you have.
Be open to learning.
Recognize that your best will keep getting better.
Be someone You can count on.
Take 100% responsibility for your actions and behavior.
Wishing you all the best on your next parenting adventure!!
All good things are rooted in love, laughter and learning!