Consider yourself warned!
A guide for those who think they want children.
On Christmas Eve, my kids and I went to Applebees with my parents and my younger brother for dinner. At the table across from us, a young mother and her son (who may have been around 3 years old) were getting ready to order. I couldn’t hear what the mother said, and quite frankly, I wasn’t paying too much attention to them. That was, until the little boy said out in a very LOUD voice, “Yeah, she really likes her alcohol!”. I can only imagine the poor mom’s embarrassment. Especially since everyone at my table busted out laughing (there were 6 of us at the table, so you can imagine how loud we were). We didn’t even try to play it off. We probably should have tried to act like we didn’t hear him so that mom could at least save face. But, that thought never even occurred to us.
So, here’s the lesson in that experience… please be careful what you say around kids. They are like sponges. They will soak up everything. And, they are … Always. Paying. Attention. Always. Trust me, that little boy didn’t come up with that statement on his own. He heard someone say it. He just didn’t understand it. If he did, he never would have repeated it.
This holiday season, you may be around family and friends that you don’t like or who may work your last nerve. Be careful what you say. If you don’t want people to know how you really feel, don’t say it around the kids!
There. So now you know.
And you can …. Consider Yourself Warned!
Parents, what have your children repeated in public that embarrassed you?
Well, it started. Last week, my son started hearing back from some of the colleges he applied to for early acceptance. I didn’t even know that the results were out until he sent me a text to let me know that he had gotten in. I felt a little cheated. I imagined that when he got his results, I would be recording it on my cell phone so I could show my co-workers and post it on my Facebook page. Instead, his sister recorded it. Let’s just say you don’t want her filming any of your special moments. After getting these results, my son was happy and relieved. He was happy. I was a little sad. Don’t get me wrong. I really was happy for him, but that text just reminded me that my firstborn will be leaving me in a few months.
Then came the email that my son had been waiting on ... the decision from his first choice school, one of the Ivy League universities. He knew that this was one of his “reach schools”. He knew that there was a strong likelihood that he would not get in. Even so, it didn’t stop him from wanting to go there. It didn’t stop him from hoping that he would get in. It didn’t stop him from daydreaming of being there. His sister and I gather around the computer as he opened the email. He was nervous. He was anxious. I was scared. I wanted him to get accepted because that was his first choice school. But, I was worried of how he would react if he didn’t get in. My daughter and I patiently waited for him to read the email. He read it silently, and then, he told us. He was rejected. He was heartbroken. I was mad! How dare they reject my son! Didn’t they know what a great kid he was? Believe you me, if I could, I would have gone to that college and make them accept my son. But we all know I can’t do that. Well, maybe if I funded that new library wing, or had the right family name.
So, what could I do? All I could do was tell him the truth. I told him that it was the school’s loss, not his. And I told him that this won’t be the last time he would face rejection. It will happen over and over and over again. I told him that how he deals with rejection will define his character. Then, I told him of how I didn’t get into law school the first time I applied, I was wait-listed and never made it off the list. I reapplied the next year and was accepted. I wanted him to understand that I knew exactly how he felt because I had experienced it too. But after a while, I saw the all too familiar glassy, far away look in his eyes. Instead of getting annoyed like I normally do when I see that look, I knew it was time to just leave him alone. He needed his space. The next day, my son bounced back and was ready to start applying to his second set of schools for regular decision. I must admit. I was proud of him. I know that with that attitude, this kid will go far.
As a parent, it seems as if when your children’s heart breaks, your’s does too. But what can you do? As much as we want to protect our children and make the world a perfect place for them, that’s just not possible. There are so many things that you as a parent can’t control. All we can do is remind them that they are loved, that they can do anything, and to teach them how to navigate the not so happy times of life so it won’t seem as if the world is falling apart. Unfortunately, dealing with rejection and disappointment are life skills that children must learn, skills that we as parents have to teach them.
So, now you know and you can .... Consider Yourself Warned!
For you parents out there, how did you help your child deal with rejection and disappointments?
SassyGirlTye lives with her two wonderful teenagers in Brooklyn, New York. No matter what she says in her posts, she truly loves her children with all her heart.