As a mom I feel that almost every decision I make has some influence whether it be great or small on my children. If I send my son to school without a coat, “Will he be cold at recess?” If I let my daughter skip a nap to go to a playdate, “Will she be cranky all evening?” If I keep my son from watching cartoons that his friends are watching, “Will the other kids tease him?” So many decisions and so much to WoRrY about as parents.
My son has recently started a fascination with dinosaurs. He has been learning about them in school and can’t get enough of them. A friend let us borrow a National Geographic DVD about dinosaurs that Nicholas loved. It was really realistic looking and it had all of his favorite dinosaurs. Only problem was…it was a little TOO realistic. Nicholas had a few nightmares and we sent that DVD back. We found an old G rated animated dinosaur movie named, The Land Before Time to give to Nicholas for Easter. It looked adorable and I was thrilled that even though it was created in 1988 it was available on DVD. Without a second thought I put in the movie and started breakfast only to hear my husband calling me into our family room a few minutes later. Nicholas was curled up on the chair with tears in his eyes and wouldn’t talk. We shut off the movie and I sat down with him to find out what happened. He told me that in the movie the T-Rex hurts the mommy and he gave me the tightest hug his arms could give. Later that morning I found the scene he was referring to. Not only does the T-Rex hurt the mommy, but she dies right in front of her baby. I went right to the DVD packaging and read the description that mentioned NoThInG about the outcome of the scene that was so horrifying to a four-year old to watch.
A sickening feeling came over me that I couldn’t shake for most of the morning. Why didn’t I preview the movie before I let Nicholas watch it? Nicholas has been attached to my hip since the second he was born. He is a MoMmY’s BoY who still ends up waking up next to me more morning than not. Watching that baby dinosaurs mommy die must have been horrifying for him. How long is it going to take for him to forget how upsetting this scene was to him?
If anything good has come out of this, it’s that I have learned there are NO true G Rated shows, movies, apps, etc. in life. Kids have so many different personalities and QuIrKs…what sets off one may be the opposite of what sets off another. There are too many times when we let a false sense of security take over for our better judgement. Please learn from my mistake and take the time to really SEE for yourself!
~Robyn (Jersey Girl)
Don’t you appreciate it when someone is completely HonEst with you about a situation you have been secretly struggling with? As soon as they open up, you immediately think, “What a relief! I thought I was the OnLy oNe dealing with that!”
When you get in those situations, do you return the FaVor by opening up to them, or do you AcT like you can’t relate because you don’t want to admit your faults in fear that it could ruin your reputation of appearing PerfecT?
You can’t expect to GaiN a lot from others if you aren’t expecting to open up with them in return. People that open a door and “hear crickets” are likely to not open that door again. So next time someone ShaRes a deep thought, at the very least, show empathy or appreciation for their honesty. ExPress to them that their openness helps you with your own personal struggles and gives ComFort in knowing that you are not the “only one” that goes through stuff like that!
Do you have one? A StRoNg-WiLLeD ChiLd, that is. I actually have two, but my youngest is the one with the strongest will. You better believe that she can throw a full-fledged fit and scream at the top of her lungs for hours on end. Literally. I wonder how I ended up with not one, but two of these precious little darlings. After all, I was the compliant child and what you sow you reap, right?
My response to this mayhem? I refuse to be manhandled by a 3-year old. So, BriNg iT DaRLiN’ because If wE tAnGo I promise you, I will always win. I do tell her that frequently. We even rehearse this dialog often:
MOM: “Who is in charge?”
CHILD: “You are.”
MOM: “So, that means that who is NOT in charge?”
CHILD: “We (her and her sister) are not in charge.”
Besides my children, there is another strong-willed child I have to deal with almost every day – a.k.a. ME!! It’s that undisciplined part of me that only wants convenience and comfort. It willingly cooperates, but only if it doesn’t involve sacrifice and hardship of any kind.
This strong-willed child is my public enemy number one. It is 99% of my problems. It’s what stands between me and my goals. It refuses to cooperate with my plans, wants its own way, and will throw a fit if it doesn’t get it.
How do I handle this strong-willed child? The same way I handle my strong-willed 3-year old. Sheer determination to be the LaSt oNe StAnDiNg. Feelings, comfort, and convenience will have to take backseat, because I will win this one. I promise.