With each day that passes I am getting much better at the single mom routine. There are still times when I wish there was someone else that could do some of the errands, cleaning, cooking and other random things that need to be done. I have always sympathized with moms who were raising their children on their own, but I now have a more hands on look into what they go through in a day.
Every day is a struggle to remember why I am doing this. Not because I have to, because lets face it, most of us have the option of letting the other parent do this job. I do this because I love my children and that is the only reason I do this. I do not do it to piss of my ex, (although some days that does seem like a bonus). I don't do this because the law requires me to, or they will take them away, (another good incentive to do it of course). I want the best for my children regardless of the "broken home" label that is placed upon our family now.
The thing with labels is that children (and even us adults) take them to heart. We believe the labels that other people put on us. Someone says, "you will amount to nothing because you did not have a father in your home" you believe it so you do not work hard to get anywhere for fear "they" were right. Labels, even though you can not see them, touch them or smell them, can hurt and cause damage to us. When you say to your child, "Your such a clown" it seems like an innocent comment at the time, but really what does that tell your child, especially if they hear it over and over again? It could tell them that they are silly and that is all they are. It tells them that they are not able to be serious. Being silly is ok and even good for children, but making that something they are only capable of is not.
Even a label that seems like it could be a good thing for a child can do damage. IQ tests and scores seem like a great thing. They tell you what your child's potential is. This seems like a great thing right? However, if that is all you talk about with your child then they know you expect them to reach that potential. Then the child starts to think, well what if I can not do it? What if something I do (which could be something great) causes everyone to take this "gifted" label away. At the same time, a child who scores extremely low on this IQ test, may be made (unintentially hopefully) to feel stupid and that there is no way they can ever amount to anything.
The lesson to learn here I guess, is that we should be careful how we talk to or about, our children. Even when you think they are not listening, they are. They take everything we say to heart. Life is about growing and learning, not about about fear of failure, fear of not living up to an expectation or worse yet, living up to a negative expectation.
Well I now must make my second trip to the school.
Until next time....