I've been worrying a lot lately, about Punk. About the young lady she is becoming, about her future, about her life, about her goals... I don't know why but she's been on my mind a whole lot lately. I think it's because she is going to be ten in a couple of months.
Wow. Double digits.
Yikes. She's well on her way to becoming a teenager, and if she is anything like me... we are so screwed.
I worry about the fact that she isn't making her own decisions yet. Here are a couple of examples - first, I take her clothes shopping. We walk into Justice and I tell her she has $100 to spend on whatever she wants. I'm not going to choose, I'm not going to say no, I'm just there to make sure it fits. And we stood there for nearly an hour with her wandering around the store, not deciding anything. She'd pick something up and look at me, as if waiting for me to say, "that's cute!" or "uh, not so great" but I didn't want to influence her; I wanted her to make the decision on her own. It took an hour for her to pick out two shirts, that were identical except one was pink and one was blue. Second scenario: ice cream night. We went to the mart of walls and stood in the ice cream aisle - me, Husband and Punk - and said everyone got to pick one thing. She wandered the aisle for 20 minutes. 20 minutes!?!?!! If at nine anyone had given me that opportunity, I would have had ice cream picked out, paid for, and eaten in 20 minutes. It was like she was waiting for us to make the decision for her.
That scares me. What happens when she is in junior high or high school and drugs are presented? Is she going to look around and wait for someone to make the decision for her? That's scary. Or when it comes to sex? Even scarier.
I don't know how to change it. I don't know if we aren't making her feel like her opinion is worth sharing or what, but I'm worried! I don't ever want her to feel like her thoughts and feelings and opinions don't mean anything. We went into a store not too long ago and she actually pointed out a shirt she thought was cute. I bought the shirt. Not necessarily because I needed or wanted it (we were in a 'big people' store, not a children's store) but because I wanted her to feel like her opinion was a good one. It is a cute shirt, and I wear it; especially when she is around.
How do you make a child feel like they are worth something? Like their opinion matters in your grown-up world? How do I make sure she grows into her own person and not a person that's molded into whatever shape she feels she needs to be? I know a lot of people who are whoever they need to be to fit in; I never want her to be like that. I want her to be sure of herself and who she is, always.
Can someone find me a genie? I just need one wish.