I have been struggling lately. Not in the regular parenting ways in which I am tired or overwhelmed with all of my responsibilities or the fact that we’re moving in a few weeks and I’m dealing with the logistical and emotional aspects of that. But I’m struggling with the idea of shaping Charlotte as a person and how important it is for the parents to set examples. She’s starting school in September and I’m petrified that she’s going to be a disaster. I already know she’s going to cry and scream and lose her mind when Eric and I leave, but what if she doesn’t stop? Then there’s the unfortunate aspect of her telling people they are “disgusting” and that she doesn’t like them. I have no idea where this came from and I have no idea how to stop it. I don’t want to have the bratty kid. I’m trying so hard not to have the bratty kid, and yet she’s still acting like a brat. What else can I do other than explain to her that she can’t call people disgusting and that it isn’t nice and can make them feel sad? Can a 3 year old even comprehend that or is she just going to continue to be a little jerk? And I feel awful that perhaps I’m the reason this is happening. That I’ve fundamentally failed somewhere along the line. I try so hard, every day, to set a good example. But is it enough?
There are times thought when I feel like I’ve accomplished something. For example, Charlotte has been obsessed with makeup. She asked me one day while we were giving each other makeovers if boys wear makeup and I told her anyone can wear makeup. Makeup can make you happy and if boys want to wear it they can. And now, every time she takes out that makeup, she looks at me and says “makeup makes you happy, even some boys!” So I feel like I’m setting the ground work for teaching her that gender doesn’t define what you like or what you want. It’s baby steps, right?
Now if only I could get her to stop calling everyone disgusting.