Sunday, July 5, 2009

Managing insecurities of our children - that's how they grow

On this wonderful 4th of July day, our family had the excellent opportunity to go do what families typically do on 4th of July: We had a picnic and saw fireworks. Of course, this was all done with the permission of our children. They were looking forward to all of the events of the day and were excited to have the option to do those thing. Like always, sometimes this does not always go as planned, at least how we, as parents, think it would.

As our family was wrapping up our exursion to the playgroud and park for a lovely shaded picnic, my oldest was running with excitement to our car and fell and skinned her knee. How typical, I think, but my 5 year-old is crying, making it a huge crisis. "B-B-Blood!!" coming from my wanna be doctor. She was crying all the way to the car, wanting to be carried due to the stinging sensation of her knee. Then she goes on to say "My friends will make fun of me!" and later, "None of the boys will marry me!" She was not only crying because of the knee, but worried how a skinned knee would ruin her young reputation. I then showed her my scars from years of falling off bikes and running into things. Somehow it did not convince her that it was all part of being a human being - that we do get scars. When we got home, she got into bed and we all watched a little bit of Toy Story. I think me being with her in those few minutes calmed her down a bit. Maybe next time she gets a skinned knee, she won't cry as much and see that even her friends, especially those boys, gets them.

And, down to the fireworks we go later in the day. My youngest was so enthusiastic to see the fireworks, perhaps the first real display she has seen in her young 2 year old life. We got to the park in Vienna early enough, about an hour, before the display began. Both girls were so excited. The crowds were coming in, and the girls were nestling in with blankets as the evening got cooler. Then at 9:15 the firworks began. My oldest was sitting on her father's lap, saying "Wow," while my youngest was on my lap cluching onto me for dear life. She was not happy about the experience. She covered her eyes, then shuttered at the sound of the pops. She would not let go of me during the 30 minute show. I was trying to comfort her, but I was thinking she would get used to the sounds and see that the crowds were enjoying the views. But all of this did not convince my youngest at all. She clinged to my neck the whole time in fear. I am hoping that next time, when she is 3, that this would not be such a terrifying experience and see that this is just how fireworks sound and look.

We can all hope, as parents, that every experience our child has, good or bad, and make them see that this is what happens in our lives and we will all have to chuck up the experience as a guide to our next dilemma. These experiences will give us more confidence to deal with next issue we face, and then the insecurity would soon diminish. At least, we hope little by little.

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