WHEN IT’S OKAY TO IGNORE

“Mom, Ryan’s baseball friend told me that I’m small and that I can’t play baseball,” our three-year old Joaquin said.

Over the years, even my older kids have come up to me at one time or another to report that a classmate or a friend told them they were not good enough.

It’s inevitable that our kids will hear put-downs from others about their looks, their potential, their achievements and just about any trivial thing that concerns them.

As parents, we can react in different ways. We can go and confront that boy who put down our child and warn him to stop bullying our son “or else…” Or we can pull out our child from that school and look for a more friendly environment for him. Or we can constantly hover around our child and make sure no one comes near him who has bad intentions. Or we can teach our kids to attack with meaner words like “Yes I’m small but I’ll grow bigger but you, you’ll stay ugly forever!” (Believe me, there were times in the past, I was so tempted to attack!)

Or we can simply tell our kids to ignore the comment. We can teach our child to listen to the right voices and reject the wrong ones.

When Joaquin told me about the incident, I reminded him of the video we just watched entitled “Dave and the Giant Pickle.” (Talk about timing…) This was VeggieTales version of the biblical account of David and Goliath. I reminded Joaquin that even if David was small, he was able to kill Goliath because God was with him. So even if other kids tell him he’s small, he can still do great things because God will help him. “So Joaquin, you are big because God is with you!”  I saw how his face lit up as he received affirmation from me.

Of course, your response will depend on the gravity of the situation. If your child is constantly being bullied by his classmates and he is starting to hate school because of that, by all means move him to another school. But if it is a simple case of immature teasing, teach your child to ignore those comments, and feed his mind with the right ones. When others say discouraging things to our children, let our words of praise and affirmation speak even louder!

DO YOU KNOW HOW TO DOUGIE?

All moms would agree with me that motherhood is a serious business. But there are days when mothers should just set aside their tough and resolute front and be crazy for the sake of fun! If you ask my kids, I think they will tell you that they have the weirdest mom ever, but hey, if weird means fun, then I’m okay with that. I don’t want to be boring. I want my kids to have lots of fun memories with me. That’s what made me decide to learn how to dougie with them.

Now, if you clicked on the link, you’re probably wondering if I got the dougie. Well, that’s not the point 🙂 The point is, we need to stay relevant to our kids, learn to connect with them and simply just have fun with them. And boy, did we have lots of laughs as we danced together. We kept laughing at ourselves until we were out of breath.

A friend just recently told me that her kids preferred to be with their dad more than with her. I asked her why she thought they did, and she said it’s probably because all she did with them was to make sure they obeyed the rules. “Do this, do that, don’t do this, don’t do that…” Those words basically summed up her everyday encounter with her kids. Moms, as much as rules are important, there should be a good balance between rules and relationship. One way to develop that relationship is to do things with your kids that they consider fun. Find out what they are into and join them!

At times,  I’ve had to force myself to learn certain games just so I can enjoy them with my kids. And I would usually find myself having more fun than I expected! So go ahead, even if you look funny, do the dougie!