Many, many thanks to those of you who comment and send me emails about my posts. They mean the world to me. I don't have many friends where we currently live, so I sometimes feel a bit isolated and alone. While I would prefer to see your loving face and hear your kind words, reading them is comforting.
Aggie and I have been going to a parent/toddler class once a week (but not this week because, you guessed it, Ms. Ags has an ear infection and a mild case of Croup - the price you pay for going to day care and building an immune system). Part of the class is parenting discussion - last week, the teacher shared with us the idea of praising our children's efforts more so than their talents. The idea is that by doing so, when they meet obstacles later on, they won't be as apt to give-up, because they are confident in their ability to try, try again. Whereas, by praising intellect or talent, if they meet an obstacle, they might feel it is beyond their capabilities and give up.
I feel this ties back to my last post - that it's my effort I need to be focusing on, rather than succeeding (or failing, for that matter). But by highlighting my failure, I at least recognize I have tried or am conscious of wanting to try.
I am used to being able to pick-up new skills rather quickly and easily; those that haven't come that way, I tend to give up on them. My mother says that as a baby, I waited to do something until I knew I could do it - like with walking. I never crawled; just one day, got up and started walking. I'm noticing this tendency in Aggie. She is physically able to walk - by this, I mean, she practices balancing, walks with her wagon, etc. - but mentally, she is not ready. She hates falling, so I think she's waiting until she believes she can do it without falling. So, I'm hoping, by praising and encouraging her effort, she might be less inclined to wait until she can do things perfectly before giving them a try.
And I think this is one of the reasons I struggle with parenting - everyday is a new challenge. It's hard to feel like I've got my bearings because things are always changing. The important thing is not success, but to try (and loop back to above).
Confession time - I used to be annoyed with those moms who talked of nothing but their children and being a mother. Now, I understand and feel a bit more compassion. Especially as an FTP, this parenting gig is all consuming. But, I swear, I can talk about other things, like the government change in Tunisia, how Cuba is releasing a bunch of new self-employment licenses, that Nicole Kidman has a new baby.