My 5 year old is now a 6 year old. Yup, 6 years with this guy. And each year is different. This one added 3” to his height! And this birthday, after years of bringing gifts for other kids, and after debating whether we really need more stuff (which we don’t, but it was a factor); we let him decide if he wanted a party or not. And he did, and he wanted his friends to bring him presents. It sounds bad, but parenting is tricky.
And one girl brought a couple of homemade presents for Evan. One was a necklace that was hand knitted.
I was impressed. I told my parents. They were impressed. And it really was an impressive gift, the gift of thought and time and effort. And I told my son that I was impressed by those things. Those things matter.
But it takes courage to be a parent who enables your kid to give a homemade gift. And the world needs more of that.
I challenge you all to find small moments of courage to win at. And the small wins will become bigger with practice. Even if your moments of courage are saying no. Saying no, when you’re afraid of a meltdown in the store. That’s a start.
But I think the most courage comes from saying yes. When you let your daughter be in charge of the gift to a friend’s party – and giving it no matter what it is, or saying yes to letting your kid go off with other friends – leaving you behind without a sidekick. Those moments of letting your kid lead – those are the most important. They teach the most, and you’ll learn that most often, your child gains some confidence (or a lesson) and things work out just fine.