What they think

My lils have had a happy existence to this point.  They do what they want, when they want, with little care as to what anyone thinks. Despite the fact this means that they don’t care what I think, it’s actually worked in my favour on more than one occasion.  They both pretty much do, go, and wear what I want, providing I can convince them that they are making the decision.  I generally accomplish this by offering choice where the outcomes are generally all acceptable to me, or so stacked with options that I know they would hate that they fall into line.  It’s worked pretty well. 

Then came grade one, and Woo found himself in a new class with no friends.  He had to make friends, to get noticed, and he started to learn about making a good and a bad impression. He started to care about what they thought, and it started to affect his choices at home.  It all made sense when I tied it all together, fighting me about wearing warm clothes for our walks to school; claiming that no one else in the big yard was wearing snow pants, balking at the inclusion of a Fancy Nancy book on his reading list, afraid that others might see that one of their nighttime stories was “a book written for girls”, and having our goodbye hug move farther and farther away from his classmates (it’s now off of school grounds).

These changes have been an adjustment for me too.  I’ve started to work in discussions about when and why we should care about how others think, why it is important to stay true to who you are despite what others might think, and how there are no “girl” books and “boy” books, but I have also been trying desperately to see how I can use this to my advantage. I thought that I was on to something the other morning when I tried to motivate him to get dressed by threatening send him to school in his pajamas if he didn’t hurry.  Although I didn’t say it, I was certain that he would be horrified at the thought of having his classmates see him in his PJs.

Apparently it is every child’s dream to go to school in their pajamas. Back to the drawing board for me.

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