Why do we celebrate Mother’s day when I would really like to celebrate my daughter! Being Mishka’s mom is the greatest honour and joy of my life. I get to spend time with this amazing person who wants to spend time with me too. It is just the most overwhelming feeling of companionship and admiration. I get to experience life as a little girl once again, only through someone else’s eyes, someone so close to being me but also so very different from me. What can be more enlightening? Perhaps the fear of not having this anymore is sometimes so intense that you just want to grab it and hold onto it. I totally understand the issue of overprotection or boxing-in a child. I have to remind myself every day that she is her own little person and I am the lucky mom!
It did make me think about how to can build a healthy relationship with her, to cherish these wonder years, to keep the bond, to positively affect her future just by being in her life and not trying to control her life.
The most valuable gift I would like to give Mishka is a sense of trust, to see her world as a friendly place and not a place to constantly question and distrust. This does not mean I want her to be naïve or ignorant, I simply want to cultivate a strong sense of self through our relationship.
If you think about it, I am the first woman she has an opportunity to get to know on so many different levels: playful, serious, scolding, happy, confident, sad, truthful, unsure, protective, fun…. I will be what she remembers to be a woman when she enters womanhood, and it will be a compass she will live by. Whether I am a good or a not so great mom. It will stick!
So how do I get it right?
I found these tips very insightful:
1. Focus on Her Strengths
It’s so much easier to be relentlessly critical of everything she does, simply because you think you know better, or because you have been through it yourself. This is a trap we fall into so often, almost self-righteously, but if you can focus on the things she does well you will cultivate a positive self-image.
2. Let Her Be Unique
This is an even bigger pitfall, we just want our daughters to be like us that we forget how to see and point out their unique little traits and idiosyncrasies, the very things we love so much. If you are too focused on the pressure of perfection that society put on us, you will lose out on your daughters’ characteristics, that which makes her special. She needs to know that she is valued for it.
3. Show Respect to Get Respect
Something I could never understand as a child was when an adult demanded me to respect him/her. Respect is not something you can force, it develops as you get to know someone and when values in that person match up with your inherent values. So how do I implement this? Simply by getting to know my daughter and what she values, perhaps she will surprise me with her own unique set of values which may or may not resonate with me. By respecting her she will in return learn how to recognise in me what she sees in herself.
4. Have Realistic Expectations
This is a biggie! A huge one. We all want our daughters to stand out, to be good at everything we were never good at. I hope to give Mishka the opportunities she deserves, but I do not want her to think she has to be great at every single activity, I want her to enjoy her life!
5. Keep the connection by:
- Helping Her Become Her Own Person
- Hearing Her Out
- Owning Your Mistake
Wishing you all a beautiful day with your children!