My daughter is in an after school dance class. The girl loves to move and has so much energy that she is usually still awake when I go to bed at the end of a long day. We received an email inviting parents to the last class.
I didn't walk into the hot gym with high hopes, but I expected some sort of performance. Instead, I watched a bored teacher rotating between grapevines, kicks and crab walk for twenty minutes as Taylor Swift blasted from her iPhone. After the instructor looked at her watch a few times she suggested the kids play a game, "Duck, Duck Dance." Instead of running around the circle you perform your favorite dance move in this version.
My girl sat quietly as she waited patiently for her head to be tapped. My stomach hurt as I was sure I saw her sink down a little each time that she wasn't tagged to dance. Eventually the teacher made sure everyone had a turn. She spun around with a wide smile.
After class I gave my girl a hug and told her how proud I was of her for listening to the teacher. On the walk home, unintentionally I blurted out that I felt bad that she was picked last. "Why?" she asked honestly. "We all got a turn."
This is when I am reminded that my daughter is not me.
This is my issue here. I remember as a little girl not being picked and for some reason still have some insecurities that made this type of approval very important to me.
I need to cut the cords from the past as to not carry them into my daughter's or my own future. I hope my daughter continues to grow with confidence and not experience the uncomfortable feelings of rejection I still remember from 20 years ago.
Especially when she is simply playing a harmless game.
Luckily I have her to remind me it doesn't matter she was picked last because everyone got a chance. Once again, lesson learned from my little ones.
Do you notice some of your childhood insecurities brushing off on your children or are you able to separate the two?
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- Check out my 2014 photo project How Quickly They Change.