Sunday, October 27, 2013

Power Shift

There are so many stages in parenting it's impossible to know about all of them in advance. And since I'm a planner that's been one of the toughest adjustments I have had to make.

Right now we are in the midst of a power shift. This was has been gradual and probably really started when my oldest turned 6 and started wanting to have more of a say in family decisions. Like what to have for dinner or what extra curricular activities she did or who to spend time on the weekends with. 

It's completely understandable of course and I encourage her to speak her mind as long as she doesn't throw a tantrum when it doesn't go her way. But as we make our way through this process I can now see how easy we had it before. When we just decided everything and the kids went with the flow.

I'm dealing with one of those situations now. Up until now Halloween has been a family affair....with family coming over for dinner and joining us for trick or treating.  Last year we managed to also include some of the girls closest friends in the trick or treating part.

This year...now that oldest is 7 and her friends are pretty much the most important thing in her life...she  requested that we do dinner and trick or treating and post trick or treating hot chocolate and candy sorting fun with just her friends.  It's a decision I support but it put me in the uncomfortable position of having to break the news to those family members that would usually spend the time with us.

That hasn't been fun. Especially since I am a people pleaser. I want the people I love to be happy. I wish there was a way to ensure everyone gets what they want and no one is disappointed.

I know that's a utopian concept but what can I say? I am who I am.

That said - ultimately my most important role is mother to my girls and my most important job is raising them right.  And that means encouraging them to make choices and ensuring they know they are being heard.

And while I won't always let them choose friends over family or change long standing traditions to include friends there are times where change is called for.

So to anyone who might feel left out or forgotten or replaced when I have to make these tough decisions I am sorry. It's all just part of the process.



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