I Am Not a Child Psychologist, Nor Do I Play One on T.V.

I am a little rattled by the responses I received about yesterday’s post, Sometimes, It Stings.  I have received a couple Facebook inboxes, a few text messages, an email, and a couple of comments from friends about how I handled the situation.  The general consensus is that I was probably insensitive when speaking with Carson.

I appreciate the advice and the general concern people are feeling for Carson’s well-being.  However, I do want to let you in on a little secret.  She and I talked for fifteen or more minutes, and although what I expressed in my blog was the overall sentiment of our exchange, I did not just bark at her about crying and life’s obstacles.  I did spend time consoling her as well.

I usually do not defend my parenting style, but because so many people offered advice, I feel the need to explain my philosophy.  I parent with common sense.  I do not read how-to manuals or books.   I listen to other people and I observe their parenting.  I think about my own parents and my experiences as a child.  I take away from all of it what I believe can and will work for my family.  In addition, I parent each of my daughters according to her needs.  I try to always show them that I love them, but I am not afraid to be stern.

With that being said, I have said many times that I do not think every child should get a trophy.  Likewise, I think it is good for a child to learn that she does not always get everything she wants, that not everything will always go her way, and that sometimes, life is difficult.  It is true that Carson was disappointed because she was not invited to a friend’s birthday party.  As a parent, I chose to be pragmatic and discuss the sobering reality that sometimes life kind of sucks.  She felt real disappointment and besides for rubbing her back and kissing her forehead, I could do nothing to take the pain away.  However, by talking through the situation, I know that what she is learning are valuable techniques in developing an emotionally, healthy self; she is learning to endure, to  cope, and to survive setbacks.

I want Carson to feel strong and independent.  I do not want her to crumble when she strikes out or worse, life throws a 103 mile fast ball and she gets smacked in the face.  Oh, it will sting, I know from personal experience that it stings.  However, time has the ability to assuage any hurt, and eventually, she will have the strength to pick herself up and stand in the batter’s box of life again.   Life is about swinging, and eventually she will experience the glory of the homerun, and when she does, I will be (because I always am) her number one fan cheering in the stands!

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4 thoughts on “I Am Not a Child Psychologist, Nor Do I Play One on T.V.

  1. I loved this post but hadn’t read yesterday’s, so went back and read that. I’m surprised to find such a strong response. My son is only four, but we have already had variations of this conversation. There are some whys that I cannot answer, that aren’t worth wasting energy on, and that is an important thing to know young. I had like discussions with my mom, who wanted me and my siblings to understand there were many reasons things went down as they did . . . very few of which really boiled down just to us. Now I understand how much those conversations must have pained her, but they laid a solid foundation, exactly as I am sure she had hoped.

    • Yes, Deborah! It can be hard to be a parent, but as you are trying so hard with your son, that is how hard your mom tried and that is how hard I am trying! Every parent parents differently, but the hope is that they parent to the child’s needs.

      Thank you for your response and for reading my post!

  2. Like a previous commenter I had yet to read yesterdays post so after reading this had to pop over there, I do think sometimes the trend to be a friend to your child rather than a parent effects how people think situations should be reacted to but sugar coating life does not do children any favours in the long run, life does suck and nothing can stop that happening but by explaining that there is always a balance, you have to have the bad to really appreciate the good :D

  3. Ugh…I think everyone has felt in someway over the years that awful feeling of rejection – whether it be from not being invited, not making a team, or not getting called back from an interview u hoped for. Its happened to all of us at some point or another as children and yes even as adults. And it does sting….and unfortunately it is in a sense a part of life but its how u handle those situations and learn from those situations that really matter. Give Carson a squeeze from me – she is an amazing, fun, thoughtful, sweet girl and I hope she does not let one birthday party invite change the perception she has of herself on the inside. Carson you are kind, you are important, you are loved!!! Xoxoxox marta

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