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Dressed for success

Submitted by on Sunday, 1 June 2008 No Comment

Originally published April 17, 2007, thehive.modbee.com   

It’s not often in recent years that I’ve wanted to stand and applaud in public. I used to do it in baseball stadiums, but my team’s been so bad in recent years I’ve gotten over that urge.

I’ve felt it twice recently, but managed to restrain myself. So I thought I’d do it here.

The first time was the day before Easter, at a grocery stre. The woman was smartly dressed in denim capris and a white T-shirt, straight blond hair neat and smooth. I marveled at her ability to pull that off with two kids in tow.

A boy, who looked to be a bit over 1, was sitting in the cart, while a girl, maybe 3, was holding onto its side. It was the girl’s apparel that really caught my attention:  A cotton-candy colored tulle fairy dress that screamed “I won’t quit wearing my Halloween costume,” with white flowered leggings underneath.

Way to go, Mom! You understand what I strive to live by: Don’t waste time on arguments that don’t matter.

Because it really doesn’t  matter if that child is wearing her Halloween costume on Easter eve, any more than it matters that Big Guy refuses to give up his Christmas pajamas. They have so little control over their worlds. Let them make choices where they can.

Yeah, I’ll be a little concerned if big Guy is still wearing Dr. Dentons under his cap and gown. But for the time being, I’ll go with it. He might start getting a little toasty come July, but I’m hoping common sense break out before then. If not, he’ll learn the consequences of a bad choice.

The other applause-worthy mom has a beautiful little 3-year-old Snow White at Big Guy’s preschool. Last week, Snow White sat on the playground, happily shoveling wood chips, her pink shirt inside out.

Way to go, Mom! You understand that it doesn’t matter if the shirt is inside out or backward or doesn’t match anything else she has on. The important thing is, the kid did it herself. Don’t take away the pride in that accomplishment by “fixing” her work.

You see, we can’t encourage independence and then micromanage at every step. We can’t do everything for a child, then complain that he won’t learn to do it himself. Those tactics don’t work in business, and they certainly don’t work in child-rearing.

Admittedly, I probably go to far too the other extreme. Lately, I haven’t helped Big Guy at all until asked.

And, unfortunately, by the time he asks, he’s often so frustrated that things tend to get a bit ugly.

Granted, it’s not quite as ugly as the burgundy sweatpants, green and blue striped shirt and red and green Christmas socks he left the house in Monday.

But that’s an ugly I’ll take any day, if it means  I get to see Big Guy’s smile of pride at doing it himself. 

 Copyright 2007 Debra Legg. All rights reserved.

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