Marketing, Motherhood, and Mayhem

“Mom, this is the worst day of my life”

September 8th, 2010 by Deb McLean

Of course, we would all like to protect our children from pain, whether it’s physical or emotional.  But we have to stop ourselves from rushing to protect them from every little frustration and disappointment as they mature.  Instead, as parents we should help them work through the situation and their feelings by offering support and encouragement and just “talking it out.”  It’s about having a plan of action or taking steps.  Them taking the steps, not us.  Nowadays, everybody makes the team, everybody gets the same grade, everybody is included. In my opinion, there are problems with this attempt to make everyone “feel good about themselves”. First of all, that’s not how life works.  Not everyone gets the job or the raise.   Telling your child they’ve done a great job when they clearly haven’t tends to set a tone of low expectations. Giving kids false expectations about their abilities and skills is not only dishonest, but flat out wrong. There is a fine line we must walk as parents, we must encourage and find the good, but also be honest with what needs to improve whether it’s working harder to improve skills in a sport or academically.  The minor disappoints of growing up, however painful at the time, are necessary for emotional growth.  Yes, kids should feel good about themselves, but kids who haven’t had practice developing coping skills for disappointment fall apart later on when no one is standing there ready to rescue them. Though the pains of childhood are heartbreaking, they are learning experiences that, when faced with the loving support of a parent, help prepare kids to deal with later life.  As children mature, they are able to address these disappointments head on and turn the experience into something positive to build on.  That builds self-esteem.

Tags: 3 Comments

Leave a Comment

3 responses so far ↓

  • now that was a wise analysis!

  • True and well said Deb!

  • Deb, Your timing is impecable. I have always believed in your message, but it is hard when difficult circumstances slap you in the face. Been thinking about Casey. Tommorow Olviia has a pin placed her broken finger. Oout for the season AND for marching. So heartbreaking as a parent, but as you said, it will build character. We need to get together soon. I really like the way you think!