Friday, December 5, 2008

Reality check

In the past few years I've started getting more comfortable with my maternal instinct. I think for the most part I'm pretty good at being a Mom and, for the most part I know what I'm doing. Elementary school as sort of thrown me for a loop. I feel like I'm learning how to be a mom all over again. I've had a hard time finding balance. I want my kid to be independent but I also want her to do well. So how hard do you push? Last night I learned a big lesson.
I've always thought that my girls were the cutest, smartest, most talented being ever to exists. (This is my right as a mother, it don't mean that the other kids aren't great, but because they are mine, my children, in my eyes will always be the best.) So last night was the reflections night at the school. Brianna had drawn a lovely picture of a waterfall. She has always loved to draw and is (in my eyes) very talented. Well she didn't win anything. She was heartbroken. And truthfully I was a little mad that these people didn't see how fablous by baby is. My mama bear was clawing to come out and find out why she didn't win. I didn't let her out. Instead Jon and I talked to her about how lots of other kid had entered and how if there are winners there have to be losers. And just because she didn't win doesn't mean it wasn't good, it just means that some people thought that others were better, but that we thought she was fabulous, and she would just have to try again next year. Then we said we'd go for ice cream. On the way out we saw another little boy who was crying. Bri went to him and asked what was wrong. He said he was sad because he didn't win anything. Bri said,"It's okay my Dad says we just have to try again next year." I'm so proud of my little girl.
So, now I sit here wondering. How do you prepare your kids for the possibility that they won't always be the best? I don't ever want my girls to miss out on things because they are too scared to try. I know that losing is just part of the game. But I just hate to see my little girl disappointed like that.
So I guess I still have a lot to learn about being a mom. I thought that since we've pretty much made it through the baby and toddler years that the hard part was over. But I think it just gets harder from here on out.


stacey said...

I know what you mean! Last year Aubree won reflections, and this year nothing! I felt the same way and she was heart broken. I think that as long as we give them the confidence to do things it won't matter if they win or loose. I am sure her pictures was great, and what a good sport to help someone else who felt bad.

Rachel Banks said...

I see your dilema. I don't want to share all my personal stories but I will. Cassidee was in fourth grade and never...I mean NEVER won anything. Then she wrote this incredible essay on what Thanksgiving meant to her. It had the crowd at Barnes and Noble in tears. She won first prize. Sweet Victory only comes every few years but when in does-boy to we celebrate!

JenL said...

I think you guys are right on teaching her not to give up and to try again. I was studying for a lesson today (that I have to teach tomorrow) and I came across a quote that I loved!! It wouldn't really make sense to a young child, but the quote said, "We can experience failure without being a failure." I loved that. Just because I/we don't win doesn't mean that we've lost.

Stacy Holmes said...

I found your link from Jill's.. Here is how we handle reflections..
It is not a win or lose kind of thing. I never want my kids to thing they are losers. One year Ben won at the school level only to lose at the region level..eventually all but one kid looses reflections at one stage or it is not a win/lose type of situaton.
We really focus on the theme. This year we had a discussion on all the wonderful things in the world that make us go WOW. We wrote them down then I let the kids find a way to express one of the things on the list. Rylee loved that she learned to ride a bike, so she drew a picture of that. It won't win anything but she was proud of it. I make a big deal of the picture when we get it back, frame it and hang it on her bedroom wall. It is amazing how many people see and comment on it throughout the year..which makes them want to do it the next year.
Our school is really good about giving each kid a little trinket for participating..we will hang the participant ribbon next ot the picture to make it look real special.
The important thing is to make the kid feel important not the award!
Good luck, but not winning things is one of those lessons that are important to teach! Ok, that is my rant!