The Daughter Diaries…

When Your Dreams Hit a Dry Spell
July 30, 2016
Itchy Pants!
August 13, 2016
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How do you start a blog like this without incriminating yourself (cringe).  Ok, we’ll fess up.  Last weekend, “one” of us was doing a little tidying up and found Maya’s diary on the bed.  She was fast asleep on the sofa after a long, emotional outburst earlier that day for not getting her way…probably because she was either over-tired, too much sugar or just genuinely irked at us.  She’s only 8 but OMG, she literally has the mouth of a 16-year old.  It’s fascinating and frightening the way she argues.  At times, we find ourselves baffled at her logic and thought process.  Not because it’s irrational or unreasonable, but because sometimes it makes so much stinkin’ sense!  But her selfish tone and ‘world revolves around me’ attitude are like nails down a chalkboard.  There are so many factors that contribute to Maya’s self-entitlement…like so many other children in this day and age.  Every one of us will agree, life was so different when we were growing up.  In Maya’s case, she’s an only child, who by default, gets all the attention in the house, she’s raised by her stay-at-home dad (very non-traditional), her mom spoils her often out of guilt for not having enough time for her and let’s not forget the tween TV shows she watches, although innocent enough, have themes or ‘snarky’ characters who she mimics without realizing.  So getting back to her diary, it was sitting open face (we think) on her bed.  What’s a parent to do?  Read it to ensure the well-being of our child?  Isn’t it better to know if something deeper is going on emotionally, either at home, at school or in general?  Kids these days mature so much faster and sometimes outbursts at home can be the result of conflicts at school, such as feeling singled out, spat with a friend, taunting or bullying or a critical comment by a teacher.  As a concerned parent, it’s best to get a ahead of the game (am I right?  …please justify my logic!).  So, needless to say, the last few pages were read.  It was painful.  We won’t get into the gory details, but the words she used were so abrasive.  Most passages stemmed from her anger or annoyance with someone (mostly us).  Every child needs an outlet.  We get that.  Some parents have told me that their elementary age children don’t even have a journal or diary because they have created an environment where their child can tell them anything openly without apprehension or judgment.  But let’s face it.  Children are never going to be 100% open about everything.  I kept a diary as a girl.  Journaling is very cathardic.  As I write this blog, I’m openly journaling my inner-most feelings and weaknesses.  So what’s the lesson learned here?  How do we ensure Maya feels nurtured while instilling important character traits that will help her cope with life’s struggles?  Let’s start with less TV, more family time, fostering open communication and opportunities for Maya to learn compassion, empathy and humility through volunteering, giving to charity and teaching moments.  Allow me to reflect on a line (can’t recall the specific quote) in the recent movie “Bad Moms”…we’re good at juggling busy work schedules, chauffeuring our kids to endless activities and attending PTA meetings, but it takes a special kind of parent to raise kids who are truly decent and kind.  That was my teaching moment.  Thanks for tuning in 🙂Maya & Me Logo