I have always said that the single most difficult thing to do as a parent is to sing your children’s praise – only because it’s constant, never-ending praise. The “you are so smart, funny, cute, fast, a great artist, baseball, soccer, lacrosse, football player etc.” is mentally exhausting. I never got that as a child. I was the last of five girls, and I am sure that by the time I came flying out of my mom’s vajajay my parents were SO over singing the praise. Can ya blame them? Well, I did blame them and then my therapist told me I was wrong, so now I’m over it. But really – how insensitive of I? Five girls, and a dad who was in and out of hospitals for years – how could I really blame them – shame on me! I swore on a stack of musty old bibles that I would be the singer of praise when I had kids – like a moss on a stone, but nope once again, I am deficient in another major parenting skill. Confidence booster I am not. When God gave out the confidence builder gene, apparently I was missing – probably on the line getting “loves salty snacks” or the “can drink a 6ft 250 pound man under the table” genes.
So why am I on a self-confidence building mission? Well, at the seven-year olds’ parent-teacher conference the teacher told me just that “He lacks confidence”. So, what does the typical neurotic, Virgo, lacking confidence Mom do? She goes into a full attack –flash backs of myself struggling in school hit me like a ton of bricks, I started to sweat like a beast imagining those pesky Nuns screaming at me to memorize the alphabet song, my head started to spin and I swear an oxygen mask fell from my ceiling. Self Confidence Mission commenced and will abort when the little buggers are married and out of my house, then some other tootsie can take my place and stroke their egos.
Seriously, though, it seems that I have no compassion or the ability to build confidence in my sons. I don’t comfort them enough when they beat the pants out of each other and now I am lacking in the “hey that was a great smack down, I’ve never seen a half nelson done quite like that before, way to go bro.” department as well. What’s wrong with me? I kind of knew this in the back of my mind because my seven-year old bugger is a weeping willow like his mom and needs a lot more attention than the normal seven-year old. I try to toughen him up but realized that is the wrong approach for him. It didn’t work for me, why the hell do I think it would work for him? Am I the only parent out there that seems to get everything wrong? Look at me. I am a blubbering, self-depreciating woman who just in the last few years has really started to work on building my own confidence. Now, my focus is on my children. I’ll work on myself in my down time, between laundry, cleaning and looking for a job – should really be able to build it up by 2020. ‘Cause over my dead body will my sons lack confidence; I am determined to reverse the damage already done, if you can rebuild your lungs in seven years by quitting smoking, then with God as my witness I will raise egotistical maniacs if it kills me.
To accomplish this mission I have spent the last few days Googling confidence building strategies, making charts, buying reward tickets and telling them how great they are down to the “Wow, that’s a great poop!” Don’t get me wrong, I am still laying the smack down for any inappropriate behavior but boy have I been singing their praises like those Baptists on Sunday. I’m determined that these little buggers know they can do anything they put their mind too. Whether they’re scaling walls like Spider Man, climbing Mt. Everest, swimming the English Channel or decide to become a Doctor, Fireman, lawyer, or a Chippendale dancer they will know that they can do it and will be successful even if that means that they will be swinging some drunk bachelorette around a pole, on a stage in front of hundreds in a thong and some chaps gosh darn-it they’ll be moving their asses better than Beyonce!