So, over the past week, we’ve discussed the MANY ways to help you become a better, “WILDER” mommy. But as our walk comes to an end, it’s not YOU I want to discuss, but your kids! The final piece in being a Wild Mommy is encouraging a WILD CHILD!
Now, you may see “Wild Child” and think misbehavior or craziness, but much like being a “Wild Mommy”, it really is more about breaking down the societal norms.
It seems to me, that it would be a “no-brainer” to encourage your child to do whatever they desire in life. As parents, it’s our job to encourage our children to explore the world around them and make choices based on a good moral foundation. But, I have seen, too many times, parents making choices for their kids and the problem is that it doesn’t seem like they are doing that. There are 2 ways, that parents STUNT their children’s growth and REPLACE it with their own agenda.
#1- PUSHING- Making a child part of an activity which they did not choose.
#2- LIMITING/PROHIBITING– Not allowing a child to be a part of an activity they choose due to societal “norms” or personal opinion.
Both of these are ways that you STUNT your child’s personal growth and replace it with your OWN agenda. Which, in my opinion, is completely and UTTERLY WRONG!
One of the most important thing we can do as parents, is to create a child who is comfortable being themselves. In a world, so full of insecurities, it drives me crazy to see kids, when generally interested in something, being shut down by their parents preconceived notions. The fact is, our children need the ability to discover life on their own. What parents are there for, is to give them a compass, or a map, something that can HELP them shape their decisions based on good moralities, but it doesn’t CHOOSE THEIR JOURNEY!
Let me ask you, reader, have you ever heard the terminology “Find Yourself”? MANY young adults use this phrase. It usually coincides with college or a trip or whatever, between about 18-25. This concept, didn’t come from nothing.
Children who are not allowed to explore themselves at young ages, feel compelled to do so when they are older. The problem with this, is when you raise a kid who isn’t secure in who they are, they either tend to ALTER who they are in order to “fit in” or end up exploring NEGATIVE things, they perhaps would never have been interested in before, had they been allowed more freedom.
The steps to preventing this are SUPER EASY, right?
All you have to do is let your kid be his or her self.
But, really, it can be harder than you think. So, let’s take a look at the 2 ways we stunt their growth.
Now, there is a difference between pushing and encouraging. You should never force your child to be involved in an activity or group, that they did not express their OWN interest in. Some parents will argue, that their kid is too young to decide what activities to be involved in. I see it all the time, kids being put into little league or gymnastics, and the kid doesn’t really want to be there. If your child, is too young to tell you what they are interested in, then they are too young to be IN anything. If your child cannot express their interests, put them in educational classes or social play classes, and let them decide what they are interested in. Just present them with all options, and encourage them to at least choose ONE. But, let it be their choice. A good way to help your child figure it out is by showing them examples of sports and activities available and asking them what they LIKE about each one. Perhaps your kid doesn’t like football, but as he/she is watching they see a player take off running and decide, they like track! Or, you could be showing them a dance routine, and they could decide they really like making music! Just, expose them to everything, and let them CHOOSE. Don’t try to force them because you did that when you were young, or because you think they may be talented in a field. Because, the fact is, if you PUSH them to do something, and they don’t do it for themselves, then they really will never fully ENJOY the activity. It will always be something they are FORCED to do, not WANTING to do.
Okay, so my biggest example of this is GENDER limiting. But, it also happens with age, race and social standing. And frankly, it just has to STOP! There is absolutely NO REASON why any child should not be allowed to do what makes them HAPPY. I mean, again, this seems like a no-brainer. Hey, cheer leading really makes your boy happy, so why would you want him to NOT be HAPPY? Now, the argument was made to me once, that the reason is to prevent your child from being ostracized. It was argued that if you allowed a boy to cheer or a girl to play ball they would receive negative attention and it could be potentially damaging. That my friends, is a big pile of bull! For one, there is NO guaranteeing that a child will be teased. I have known male cheerleaders and female players that were VERY popular. But seriously, I want you to consider the message it sends to a child.
The message is: If someone is going to make fun of you for your choice or passion, you should just NOT DO IT! Is that really what we want our future generations to be like? A bunch of conforming, look-alike, act-alike, insecure, LOST people? Of course not! I think every parent would agree that they want their child to be strong, independent and UNIQUE. Well, part of creating that, is allowing those kids to cross the stereotypical boundaries. Not limiting their hearts and minds, but allowing them to break down centuries of walls we have built up for ABSOLUTELY NO REASON!
If, as a parent, you can present your child with an environment that encourages them to be who they want to be and do what they love, you will create a WILD CHILD, who will grow into an adult that is STRONG in their moral compass and HAPPY with the life they choose to live.
So, let your boy wear PINK and let your girl play in the MUD! Then encourage them both to find what THEY LIKE, and let ’em go! You’ll never find a happier, more well-balanced child.
So, that concludes our WALK ON THE WILD SIDE!
If you missed any part of our journey, feel free to go back and check it out OR, tomorrow I will have a quick review, if you’d just like to catch up!
On a side note, I am kind of sad, to see it come to an end!
BUT, I look forward to MONDAY when I begin to give tips and ideas along with stories and lessons I have learned. The REAL adventure begins now, as we actually start APPLYING all the things I’ve talked about this past week!
I hope to continue to see everyone reading! It sure makes me happy to see people gaining interest in becoming the BEST PARENT they can be!
Until Next time,
Wild Mommy MC