Growing up is hard to do. At least I thought so. To this day I still have certain insecurities and self esteem issues. And I’m 40! I should be over it by now, and I am for the most part, but in certain situations, I tend to overthink on just where exactly I fit in.
When I was in grade school I recall that I always wanted people to like me, have me as their friend. I wanted to be considered a popular kid. I lacked the confidence necessary to become a leader instead of a follower. In retrospect, I did have great friends, and I was a happy girl, but a part of me was always insecure with myself.
I brought this with me to high school…probably the worst place to have “self” issues. I tended to be more on the quiet side, which over the years I’ve learned, came across instead as being a snob. But in reality, it was pure shyness and being unsure of who I was. People would think I didn’t like them, but in fact, I thought they didn’t like me.
And now, even though I’m much more secure about who I am and who my friends really are, I worry that somehow I might transfer my personal insecurities to my oldest son. Maybe “transfer” is not the appropriate word; could I perhaps be thinking of my own childhood feelings and think “Does he feel the same as I did in similar situations?”
When my son changed schools and all the kids he knew were somewhere else…didn’t that affect him? Or when he doesn’t get on the same sports team with the group of kids he knows…doesn’t that affect him? Or is it just affecting me, because now, I’m not looking out for myself, I’m looking out for him, and I don’t want him to have the insecurities I had.
And then I think…he’s only 6.5! Likely he does not care at this stage in his life. He is happy as a clam just being around others. But in my heart, I’m concerned that he might feel left out or sad when he isn’t included in some activity.
How do we protect our kids from the same hurts we were exposed to? Do we let them experience these things because they are a real part of life? Do we let them get hurt so they can feel it and learn from it?
As parents we must call upon our own experiences growing up and use those lessons to guide our children through the difficult times.
Being a kid is tough, having to experience so many new emotions that are hard to understand and handle. But there is that word again…KID. He’s just a kid. And I will have to sit back and let him be the one he best knows how to be.