Yesterday, I got into it with one of my sons. And when I say, “got into it” I mean we exchanged antagonistic texts. I was riding him about a commitment and my expectations. I had a point but he’s a good kid. He does well in school, he’s polite and generally upbeat (except when he’s not). When I stopped texting, I realized I was nudging him to be something I definitely wasn’t at 17. My expectations were unrealistic.
As I was testing my son, I was also writing our newsletter on teen nutrition. In our podcast, on the same topic. we explain the need for parents to extricate their body/food stuff from their kids’ eating. Without being aware, we can all project our stuff. Carolyn prasied my parenting, with respect to food. While I don’t think I deserve praise, my radar is up when it comes to nutrition. I’m good, right? Not so sure. We joke that most parents, who contact us about their children, say “I’m not one of those parents.” I am losing my mind because my kid eats well..like a kid or is a little overweight but it has nothing to do with me. Many of these parents mean well but these same parents might ride their kids, a little too hard. Or, they somehow see their children’s imperfections, as a reflection of them.
The truth is that most of you reading this are “those parents” with something. Is it sports? The parents I’ve shared the sidelines with are nuttier than the typical parent who contacts our offices. Or are you worried your child doesn’t read enough? Socialize enough? Sleep enough? That they’re too big or too small? The great Dr Shefali (read her books, if you haven’t) would say our egos are getting in the way. My son, in response to my 3-paragraph (at least I use paragraphs) said, “mom you’re crazy” and though I’ll never admit it to him. He’s right.