The world can be cruel to our kids. The more we can encourage them to be unique, the better adults they will make.
I just wrapped up another weekend with my daughters and dropped them off to their mom. No matter how much fun we have or how difficult the weekend was there is always a bit of disappointment when it is over. Something about not having them here anymore, even knowing they are in great hands, seems like something is missing.
Although this weekend was full of fighting, temper tantrums and messes the thing that sticks with me when they are gone is their charm. My girls are 5 1/2, going on 15 it seems many days. For being twins and rarely spending any time apart they are as opposite as can be. The picture above is a perfect example…they picked out their clothes for their first day of school. One constantly in athletic shoes and gym clothes, the other, sparkly shoes and a skirt.
The world can be a cruel place. I can only protect them for so long from the messages they see that can tear away at their confidence and independence. The older they get the more I worry about this and try to encourage them to be who they want to be and enjoy the things that make them happy.
I know it is starting to creep in. This weekend, in one of their many wrestling matches fighting over who knows what, one said, “you only like boy stuff!” Her sister certainly wouldn’t deny it, we shop in the boy section for clothes, she asks for the boy toy at the McDonald’s drive through and she wants boy toys…but she doesn’t see any of this as a problem and I don’t want her to.
There are so many challenges to parenting it would be impossible to list. We all want to raise good kids. We worry about how they behave when they are with other people, are they nice to other kids and do they treat people with respect. Like every parent I am thrilled when my daughters behave in public or their teachers tell us they are a positive influence in class.
But lately I think far more about their uniqueness. I think about the choices they make in clothes, activities and their favorite toys. Every day they still make choices based on what they love, without the outside input of the world, I consider it a win. I am most proud that they are unique, confident and happy in their own personalities.
Their variety gives us exciting weekends, we do everything from painting finger nails and watching Frozen to putting together Ninja Turtle legos and playing basketball in the driveway. It is the absolute best and I want it to last as long as possible.
Photo Credit: iStock
Also by Patrick Sallee
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