Sunday, February 10, 2013

Walking the walk

It's a period of firsts for my family - first day of high school, first school bus trip, first high school camp, first time of being at school more than a few blocks away from home, and I couldn't be more prouder of how my family is handling ourselves.  But even though I'm doing a lot of hands-on parenting at the moment eg "mate is your science book in your locker and do you have time to get it and do your homework before class starts?", the relief my son feels once he realises he's got the right stuff for the right class and has done the right homework, is palpable.

And I can help with the stuff that needs to happen to get my kids to school, but once they're there, well it's game on.  They're on their own.  This morning in a 45 minute window before 8am, we've had two significant firsts.  Two of my boys started two new bands.  Both of them can play their instruments comfortably, but going into a room or hall full of new kids, and standing their twiddling your drum sticks while everyone else chats can be a little mortifying, terrifying challenging.

And as I drove away, after one of my boys had mouthed "GO AWAY" at me when I'd snuck back into the hall to see if he'd stopped twiddling his drum sticks yet, I realised that I am not managing to mask my own insecurities at the moment.  I would be shared absolutely shitless to walk into a small room with a small band already practicing because you're mother left home too late for the first time and hear the conductor call out a "Hello?" who are you (see I did it again!).  I couldn't bear to sit amongst a crowd and not have any "safe" person to talk to.

But these are my insecurities and not my kids and I sure as hell shouldn't be passing it on to them.  My eldest sucked in his breath and walked in to the room this morning, my middle son mouthed GO AWAY at me, so I would take my nervousness and introverted'ness away with me so he could get on with sitting with a group of 30 kids he didn't really know.

And I went home and gave myself a good wrist slapping.  I'm going to let my kids form their own neuroses and not inflict mine on them.  Because being a good parent means we don't give anxiety an inch to sneak in, we are the gatekeepers of their innocence in all walks of their lives, even the stuff that scares us.  They don't know any difference and it's my job to keep it that way.

Do you find yourselves passing on your fears to your kids or are you doing a better job than me?


  1. Always. Shyness is rampant in our house. Plus my daughter has an irrational fear of someone touching her feet that I inherited from my mother.

    1. Geez, it's hard not to isn't it Becci. But the feet thing? How does she handle shoe shopping, hopefully the women in her life have passed on techniques for avoiding feet touching situations!

  2. I've missed your voice L. I do this all the time - I get myself worked up about the fear they might develop that they usually dont. I ask if they are OK so many times that I worry that in the midst of the 'are you OK' ness they'll start to think 'hang on Im not OK'. I now channel all my anxiety by proxy at my husband - he is good at chucking it out the metaphorical window x

  3. Such a great message. Lots to think about... Thank you. (Visiting from Life In A Pink Fibro).

  4. I hear you and yes I think it is natural for parents to feel empathy for their kids and worry about these kind of firsts. At least you got the message :).

  5. This is a great post! I think you're so right and we do take so many of our insecurities into parenting. But we have to let them get on with it! Thanks for Rewinding.