Ok. I figured parenthood would be challenging. Everyone talks about the sleeplessness, the lack of personal time, and the farewell to freedom. But I didn’t realize what some of the other obstacles would be and I guess I wasn’t prepared for how often I would feel like I really didn’t know what to do or how to handle a situation. Even when it comes to the really, really great times, the times we watch what our little (or big) ones do, watch them accomplish something, go for something for the first time, make some sort of incredible association, and we want to say something, but don’t know exactly what to say.
Theories abound these days regarding child-rearing. We hear from “Tiger Moms” who say expecting greatness and refraining from too much praise leads to independence. While Dr. Sears (the “father” of Attachment Parenting) suggests that you can never love your child or support your child too much. Then there’s RIE which favors large amounts of dialogue and narration of what it seems your child is feeling and doing over excessive praise so that s/he may remain fully authentic and capable. All of these approaches seem to share the same ultimate goal: confident, happy, well-adjusted children who grow into happy and well-adjusted adults.
With all this information, I must admit that I sometimes feel stalled in my reactions when I witness certain moments of what I feel is “awesomeness” in my son. Then I read this. It made so much sense and hit me so profoundly as something that is so right, I wept: “I love to watch you play.”
Have a look and see what you think: