There is a curse that comes with motherhood. And, no, I'm not talking about the monthly curse, the stretch mark curse, the flabby belly curse, or the I breastfed 3 babies booby curse. I'm talking about the child-absorption that seems to overtake some mommies from the moment their child is born. Ok, let's be honest it happens to all of us. The first time we see our baby we know (we do not think b/c we actually know hands down) that our child is the absolute most beautiful baby in the world. And we want the world to know that they are the most beautiful baby (and the world had better agree dang it!)
We immediately share weight, height, pictures, etc. Now that kind of child-absorption is pretty acceptable in the parent world. We all get it, and will gladly give you a few months to get over it.
I'm talking about "Toddlers and Tiaras" child-absorption. Don't lie I know you've watched it at least once. We watch with our mouths hanging open at how spoiled rotten these little princesses are and how obsessed with perfection their parents are without any regard to the actual child. Sometimes it's easy to spot, like in those cases. But sometimes it's a little bit harder.
It all stems from our own pride. We are proud of this life we created, this little life represents us and the "better" this little life is the "better parents" we are. Get the picture? We have something to prove to the world about our abilities and the proof is in the pudding (or the child). So, really, what we are suffering from is a huge case of self-absorption but since it's all wrapped up in our children I like to call it child-absorption. It starts with the milestones. What babies smile first, what babies, roll over first, what babies walk first, you know the drill. We put our children in competition with each other from before they even know other people exist. We all want our children to feel accomplished, we want them to feel special, we want them to have a healthy self-esteem. But here's where we need to draw the line.
A)We also need to raise children who are aware of their flaws (no shame in that!). Picture all those poor souls on American Idol who are truly terrible but who truly believe they have the voice of an angel. They could have been spared a lot of heartache and, let's face it, embarrassment if as a child their parents would have said, "You know, you may not have the best singing voice, but you sure do know how to draw an amazing picture."
B)We need to tone it down. What will our poor little beauty queen do when she goes out into the real world and realizes she is not the most beautiful girl in the whole world like she has been raised to believe?
C)We need to raise children who put others before themselves. Teaching your child that they are "better" than everyone else elevates in them a sense of self. And unless you want your child walking all over everyone else in order to get what she wants, you have got to teach her a few things.
It's great to be advanced in certain areas. God has blessed us all with special talents. The thing about it is that your child, although maybe more talented, is not better. Other children are not inferior to your child and that is exactly what you are instilling in your child when you continue to parent through child-absorption. Keeping your child encouraged without giving them an inflated sense of self is for your child's own good. And yours too because, frankly, not only does no one want "that child" to come over for a playdate, but they don't invite "that mom" over for coffee either.