Friday, May 13, 2011

kid fears

My babysitter came inside with the kids yesterday afternoon and told me a snippet of their outside time:
              Erica says she saw a giant beetle in the grass and said "ewwww! gross!"
              Lucia came along and picked up the beetle and said "silly beetle"

I laughed when she told me this story and happily cheered. As a parent of three kids, I have struggled to make sure that I do not pass along any of the stupid fears that were instilled in me as a child or not to pass along my food dislikes to my kids.  This can be very challenging. 

When I was a child, my mother and father instilled in me to be afraid of snakes and most insects. My mother also over cooked just about every vegetable she ever cooked causing me to hate most every one of them.

 An example of my snake fear? Picture a young girl, playing outside of a mobile home on the Oregon coast. There is a slight movement in the plants and the tail of a snake can be seen disappearing into the under growth. Watch as the young girl screams at the top of her lungs while running in the opposite direction. That girl was me and I really did do that.

I have come a far way from that day. My instinct is still there deeply embedded in me thanks to my mother but I have managed to care for snakes through my former job and have been teaching my children not to be afraid of them. Respect and understanding is what I teach my kids.

So many people still believe that a child is a blank slate that can be shaped into anything we desire. Children are not in fact blank at all, they have their own ideas and need to be guided along to make proper choices and learn about their world.Their distinctive personalities are fun to decipher (most of the time).

This mama is proud not to be passing along the odd fears and behaviors from her parents to her children. 

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