Little Yellow Notepad

I want my kid to win, really, I do!

Posted on: September 16, 2014

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His eyes were gleaming.
“I entered the raffle for the Ipad! I can’t wait to win!”

I tried to share my 9 year old’s naive enthusiasm, but it wasn’t working.

Uh oh, I don’t want him to be disappointed when he doesn’t win. What’s the chances of winning anyway? I better help him realize he might not win.

“You think you’ll win?” I ask causally.
“Of course I’ll win. I just don’t know if I’ll keep it, or sell it. If I sell it, there’s so many things I can do with the money!” And he starts listing the endless options of what he can buy..rrI’m already seeing the disappointment when he doesn’t win, and it’s too painful.

What was that article I read about helping kids deal with disappointment…5 Things Every Parent Must Know To Help Their Child Succeed…right, I better start now.

“Well, you know, alot of people entered the raffle, it doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll win.”
I see the gleam leaving his eyes…

Oh no, I’ve taken away his enthusiasm, help!
What was it that I read the other day in that other parenting article…Building Enthusiasm is Building the Future, right, help them build their enthusiasm.

“Well, don’t worry, you still have a good chance at winning, I’m sure you can win. It’s definitely possible!”
The gleam is back; he’s making his wish list of what apps he’ll download.

Uh oh, but he might not win. And even if he does, he certainly is not downloading whatever app he wants…not every app on there is made for kids!
What was it I read in that other parenting article…What Every Mom Needs to Know About Their Child’s Independence…Right, give independence but keep your authority.

“Y’know, even if you win, you can’t just download every app you want. We’d have to discuss it before you download it.” A look of disappointment crosses my son’s face.

Now I’ve taken away his confidence! That didn’t go right; he needs to feel a sense of control! What was that article I read the other week…right, Don’t Make the Control Mistake, give your child a chance to assert his authority, let him feel like he has some control so he can make better  choices.

“Oh, of course, you can make some choices. Don’t worry, you’ll be able to choose some of the apps.” Phew, I see the relief wash over his face. Now he’s back to the different selling options. If he can sell it for double the price, he can really make a lot of profit…

Oh no, what was it I read in that other parenting article the other week, The Five Rules of How to Prepare Your Child for the Real World. Right, kids need to understand that there’s acceptable and unacceptable; you can’t just name the price or do something outrageous. I better stop him before he gets hit hard with disappointment in the real world. And so I try again.

“Well, you might want to sell it, but who says someone will buy it? And if the price is too high, no one will be interested…”The disappointment is back, I can see it on his face. The enthusiasm is nowhere to be seen.

Grrr, I ruined it again! This not working out like any of those brilliant articles!! Why do those things always work like a charm on paper, and in real life, the conversations just don’t work like that!!

I’m ready to start in again, another recent article coming to mind…

And then I stop. My head is spinning, and I have a feeling my son feels the same.

What am I doing? Who says I need to answer everything?

Forget the millions of articles, just listen. All he wants is for you to listen!

I take a deep breath. I’m determined to get it right.

“So you’d be really happy if you won, right?”

And just like that, his enthusiasm, naivete, excitement and entrepreneurship is back.

He’s talking a mile a minute. I can see his little mind spinning with new ideas, new hopes, new dreams.

I breathe a sigh of relief.

I almost ruined it.

He’ll learn. He’ll learn disappointment and achievement. He’ll learn winning and losing.

And sometimes I know it’ll be painful for me to witness, but I will do the one thing those many articles forget to emphasize.

I will listen.

Keep my mouth closed, and just listen.

Truthfully, that’s the best thing a mom can give.

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