Thursday, September 20, 2007

identity part deux

This is a bit of a post script, but it's still stuck in my brain. One of the gals from the 'my husband does this; I live here so I'm cool' group made the statement: 'I really hope that my daughter is pretty when she grows up.' This brought the immediate thought to my brain: ' I just hope that my daughter is smart.' Pretty you can fix - with enough money and paint - but you can't fix stupid.

It just struck me the funny - funny hummm, not necessarily funny ha ha - things one might wish for one's offspring. Like it's something that parents have THAT much control over in the first place. Sometimes I think people wish qualities for their children that were/are their own weaknesses. But are they things that are lasting or of actual value?

I mean, hoping that your kid is pretty? This kid isn't a complete troll. Not necessarily a kid you immediately gravitate to and say 'WOW! What a striking child.' But also not a little girl who needs to hide under a rock. What damage will be done to this poor girl if her mom puts out the VIBE of 'I hope you become pretty' instead of 'You are my child and I think you are GORGEOUS! '

What do you wish for your child? And how have you stopped yourself from trying to control this too much?

I have this crazy notion that if I provide lots of different experiences, or access to a variety of different stimuli, I can help GUIDE my children to finding out their own identities, as opposed to forcing my own notion of who they should be upon them. My 'wishing' for intelligence could be just as harmful as someone wishing for cuteness - if I don't accept my daughter for who she is on her own. But since she is cute and a button AND a genius, I guess so far we're ok. :)


Mia said...

I think i would visibly cringe if one of my friends said in their out loud voice that they hopped their kid turned out pretty! We all hope our kids are pretty and smart, well adjusted and hard workers, friendly, kind and thoughtful, loved and self assured. But what we say has such a huge influence in our kids. Saying that you hope they end up that way implies that they aren't already some measure of pretty ect. I try to be positive and encouraging when one of the kids does something that I feel fits in a category of "good traits to foster". But seriously who am I to judge. My kids could very well end up going through some of the toughest struggle on the planet, because of me or in spite of me or any where in between.

kat said...

yeah. i still can't believe this gal said it outloud. it was probably good that i didn't hear it IN PERSON, or i might not have been able to stop my jaw from hitting the ground with a loud THUMP.

here's to hoping our kids' therapy bills won't be TOO large because of us!

Disco Mom said...

Kat, what kind of lamos are you hanging out with? Are the pickings so slim in Longmont, or are there just a few bad ones but they get the blog space? Geez, who are these people? I better move back there to give you some decent socialization!