Did you read the story of the Colorado town that canceled the Easter egg hunt because a bunch of parents jumped the gun so that their kids will get some eggs and not feel like a failure? I read the article with a typical amount of superiority at those ‘helicopter parents’ who are now making sure their kids are not ‘egg deprived.’
Then I remembered an egg hunt we attended when my kids were little. Max and Shannon would find an egg or two and then want to sit down, open the plastic egg, and eat the candy. I would then say, “No, you have to find more! If you don’t look now, they will all be taken.” I watched some dad who must have been a former football player carrying his daughter and swooping her down to pick up the eggs. Her basket was almost full, and my kids were already done after two eggs! I wanted to grab Shannon and get her to fill her basket. We weren’t going to be the loser family who went home with an empty basket…
Yep, I admit it. I’m not proud of it. If I was at that Colorado egg hunt, I might have been one of those parents jumping the gun. As I look back on my own experience with Shannon, I can now admit that it wasn’t about Shannon: It was about me.
I wasn’t going to be beaten by some jock again, just like when I was in high school. It was all about me, still trying to work out insecurities with the help of my three year-old daughter. Shannon wasn’t trying to work out anything. She was happy to sit there and eat chocolate. When she was done and looked around to find more, she seemed fine that there were none left. For her, it was an amazing day and place where candy grew in grass! It was me who wanted more, who wanted to beat someone else.
So many of our issues with our kids are not about our kids. They are about ourselves. The very, very hard part is to admit it and learn from it. Our children will benefit, and we will benefit from it.