Thursday, October 2, 2014

mel's meanderings: all us tiger moms

it's been a while since i've done a mel's meandering but let me tell you, the subject has been a long time coming. here it comes guys, the confession. i am a judger. and i am teetering on the verge of becoming a tiger mom.

tiger mom: a mother who is strict in order to make sure her child will be competitive academically. so basically a mom who pushes her kids to be the best

i've had a bunch of thoughts in my head, all around this notice of competition among mothers. and it started with the new school year but has roots that go way back. back to september 2011. i think it's natural to want you kid to be the biggest, fastest, strongest, smartest, and most likable. no one wants their kid to fail, to be ostracised, or be left behind, but it's gotten a bit out of hand in our day and age. i knew i wanted to put landon in a preschool environment. not for the academic side, but because he is a social kid who likes to be around other kids and learn. my mom couldn't believe i was starting him so young- he's only 2 [his birthday is the last day for the allotted school year, so he'll either be the very youngest you can be in class, or one of the oldest]. back in the day, you didn't go to preschool until the year before kindergarten. we've done a lot of mommy and me classes but landon was ready for the next step. i signed him up for a quick 45 minute preschool class. i feel like it's a great introduction to a school environment but it doesn't push him too much.

during the past few months when i've been thinking about school and working with landon on his shapes, numbers, letters, etc- i've had several conversations with my friends about this; where their kids are at, what works for them, an exchanging of ideas. and in these conversations, the tiger moms are out in full force. i don't think it's done maliciously at all. everyone is just extremely proud of their kids and think they are the smartest. and you know what? they are! every one of these kids excel at one or two things and that's amazing! it's quite evident where an individuals strengths and weaknesses are. but along with these conversations, i've felt major anxiety that landon [and me! because it's my responsibility] isn't measuring up to where his friends are. he doesn't recognize alphabet letters! he doesn't know sounds! he can't write his name! in some ways, i'm glad to know where his friends are at and what we need to work on, but i need to stop comparing landon to other kids. he is so social and a great communicator. he has a fantastic vocabulary and enjoys doing physical things. so what if he can't remember the name of the letter a? he will.

i have a friend on facebook who recently said in her status 'i love sharing in other people's joy'. i absolutely love that! because sometimes i don't. that's the human in me i guess. not that i'm hating on everyone, but deep down i think thoughts that aren't the kindest. why does that girl always look fabulous on instagram? why can't i go camping with my family in a giant rv? i want to go to hawaii! my baby isn't crawling yet! i wish my husband was done with school. these thoughts are poison, yet even worse is when i find myself criticizing people for their blessings and choices. she's not a good mother- always having a babysitter. well that's not setting a good example to others. how can you watch that tv show?! it's got sex/drugs/rock and roll. i am so quick to point out others flaws and ignore mine. and believe me, i have plenty. judging is a hard sin for me to overcome but i am really trying not to. i want to get to that point where i can share in someones joy and not feel the urge to judge them.

i think, for the most part, everyone is doing the best that they can. they have struggles that they don't put on their news feeds or they are dealing with demons in their home. they also have blessing that i don't have- and that's good. now i just need to resist the urge to throw landon into some hard core tutoring and just let him enjoy being a kid. because it is over too quickly.

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KinderTeach said...

I keep telling you he is ahead of most kids. If someone is telling you their 3 year old knows all the letters/sounds of the alphabet, it is probably a lie. Most kids brains are not ready for that yet. Are there a few? Sure. But mainly not. You're a good mom. Landon is not behind in any way. Most moms, including stay at home moms do not work with their child as much as you do. Trying to teach a kid to read before their brain is old enough is like beating your head against the wall. Introducing is great but don't put so much pressure on yourself or Landon or he is going to hate it. Just keep it fun for now. Soon enough he will have an evil Kindergarten teacher who makes him miserable

Kari said...

Great thoughts. Just wait until it changes from comparing your kid to other kids to comparing your second kid to your first.

I always have to tell myself to be patient with Ammon and that his strengths are completely different than Lydia's. I start to freak out that he is only learning letters right now when Lydia was WAY past that at this point, but then I see him kick a ball far and straight and watch Lydia trip over her own foot STILL.

Haha, oh the pressure and guilt and unrealistic standards we put on ourselves. Thanks for the reminder to do better!

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