Monday, April 7, 2008
Teaching our children, especially our girls to stand up for themselves can be tricky business. I see that it can be tough for Sophie to distinguish subtle differences between being assertive and say, argumentative or between me being flexible and understanding but not overindulgent. I tend to err on the side of permissiveness and then have to pull hard on the reins to regain my footing as a parent. I want her to have freedom and choices but I want to reinforce those choices with some accountability at home. She so much wants to be let loose in the world when some days all I want to do is shut the door and snuggle under the blankets as we did when she was small. I want to protect her from the pain of adolescence while letting her create her own boundaries, which means allowing the hurt and being there to pick up the pieces and being empathetic but not overly empathetic. It is such a strange balancing act of supporting but not propping them up. I think I am at least doing some of it right as she still talks to me openly about so many things and still gives me lots of love along with the eye rolling exasperation as well. I'm always learning patience from this tough/beautiful/strong/intelligent girl.