Dear Moms (And Dads),
I thought maybe you could use a reminder.
Because last night I had one of those nights and I realized that I needed one, too.
Whatever that thing is you are freaking out over right now?
It’s not that big a deal.
Your thing is different? Your thing actually is a big deal?
No. It’s not.
It’s okay if your kid didn’t get invited to the birthday party that most of her class got invited to.
Sure, it sucks. But it’s not going to send her directly to years of intensive therapy.
Your kid got cut from the baseball team?
Didn’t get into her first choice school?
Didn’t get a medal?
Didn’t place in the top three?
Didn’t make the honor roll?
Didn’t make the travel basketball team?
Didn’t get the topic he wanted for that school project?
Didn’t get the lead in the play?
Didn’t get any role in the play?
Didn’t get asked to the dance?
Didn’t do her homework?
Has a teacher who’s a total dick?
Was sick and missed the field trip?
Got dumped by his girlfriend?
Was cheated on by her boyfriend?
Lost her jacket/goggles/backpack/shoes/hat/gloves/phone/iPad/wallet/etc…?
I get it. Trust me.
Watching your kid get her feelings hurt, seeing your kid being rejected, watching him fail or fall short of a goal he’s set for himself — all that stuff totally blows, and it’s no fun.
And it’s super annoying when your kid is missing out on something because they Just. Didn’t. Listen.
But all of these situations, while shitty, aren’t bad.
In fact, they are necessary.
Your kids need to learn how to handle being disappointed. They need to learn how to deal with people being assholes to them. They need to learn how to fail.
All of these disappointing and upsetting situations aren’t life ending.
They are opportunities!
Opportunities to learn about how the world works, and opportunities for them to learn about how they work.
Opportunities for growth.
It’s okay for your kids to be uncomfortable. And disappointed.
It’s okay for them to lose.
It’s okay for them to be sad.
They are kids.
If you remember, you were a kid once, too.
You didn’t get a trophy just for breathing, you only had like twelve television channels to choose from (and you even had to get up off your butt to change the channel), you probably only had one (or two if you were really lucky) big birthday parties when you were a kid, you had to learn how to use the Dewey Decimal System to locate a book, and you also had to look up directions on an actual map and,
write them down.
Somehow, even with all these “hardships”(or possibly, because of them?) you managed to survive.
And look at Thomas Edison. He was told by his teachers that he was “too stupid to learn anything.”
(Could you imagine if a teacher said that to a kid today? We’d lose our fucking minds!)
Albert Einstein didn’t start speaking until he was four or reading until he was seven.
Jerry Seinfeld was booed off the stage the first time he did stand-up.
Michael Jordan got cut from his high school basketball team!
Your kids’ Olympic dreams aren’t going to be dashed because they got disqualified in a race when they were ten years old.
Their lifelong goal (or is that your lifelong goal) of getting into an Ivy League school won’t be crushed if they get a C on a test in fifth grade.
They’re just kids.
They need to learn how to deal with assholes. Not be protected from them.
They need to experience failure and disappointment. Not be rescued repeatedly.
They’re resilient. They will be fine.
And who knows? These tough times? These disappointments? These failures?
They just might be the things that motivate and inspire your kids to go on to greatness.
So do your kid (and yourself) a favor.
Take a deep breath. Take a chill. And ease up on the freak outs.
Either way, the world is going to continue to spin.
And there’s no sense in making yourself (and your kids) sick over it while you’re all along for the ride.