Thursday, 7 June 2012

Whatever your child is like, you'll worry!

It's funny, the things that worry you about your kids.

I have two close friends who have boys the same age as Wild Man but with completely different personalities from my small ruffian. In both cases the boys tend to give in when another kid wants the same toy. They don't feel the need to be in the 'pack' of kids at preschool and are really happy to do their own thing.

Both Mums are worried.

Worried their kids will be bullied, won't get anywhere in life, can't stand up for themselves.

I'm jealous.

Obviously I adore Wild Man and all the chaos he brings with him but placid he is not.

He'll fight to the death for a toy he wants and then have an epic melt-down if he loses, and he not only has to be in the 'pack' ...  he has to be in charge of it. 

This is not a relaxing personality to have and sometimes I worry for him.

I don't think he'll be a bully - he's very tender and kind with babies and kids that are smaller or more vunerable than him - but I do worry that his need to be in charge will lead to him fighting a million battles in his life over issues that his friends would have been able to ignore.

There a six billion people on the planet and life is easier if you are able to be a bit flexible.

In the case of the two little boys, I really admire how self contained they are.

If another kid doesn't want to do the same thing they do they're happy to just wander off and play with something else. Happy in their own company. If someone doesn't want to play the same game as Wild Man he drags them back by their hoodie.

Every kids has their strengths and their weaknesses, but overwhelming the lesson I have learned from my experiences parenting and watching my friends is that we are all terrified for our children.

Worried they won't have friends, or that they'll have the wrong kind of friends.

Worried they'll won't be good enough and everyone will tease them, worried they'll be too good and everyone will tease them.

It's hard to let them go out into the world where we can't protect them.

But I think in the end Alvin Prince had it right when he said:
'Parents need to fill a child's bucket of self-esteem so high that the rest of the world can't poke enough holes to drain it dry.'*
And then we need to be very, very brave and let them go.

What do you worry about for your children?  

*special thanks to Naomi Hart for putting me on to the quote. It's a cracker!



  1. Great post and so true.

    I have a feisty 2 1/2 year old girl. She's a real character but I cannot take my eyes off her for a second in the company of other children. I worry about her being an only child and that she won't learn how to share and be flexible. I worry that everything is going to be a battle for her... she'll be fine of course.

    1. She sounds just like Wild Man. It's terrifying, isn't it!


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