I love my daughter and love how far we have bonded in recent times. I have successfully been able to blur the lines between “mother” and “friend”. It has not been easy, but I’m happy to be here now, and the happier for where we are headed.
It took a lot, I must confess. I had to do some unlearning myself, had to change my mindset about how to raise my girl. The fault is of course not mine, but that of the tradition we all have been raised with that, forgive me to say, is largely unequipped for raising children in this generation.
I had begun to lose my daughter. Why? Because I complained too much. I was always at her, nagging about the weight she had begun to pick and her academics that wasn’t at its utmost best as I wanted it to be. I nagged. Oh heavens, I nagged! Would you blame me though? Or any of us who were raised with the conception that “nagging” fixes things. That hounding our children with words, makes them better.
I did not only nag but compared her to her brother. He watched his weight, had a good physique, was doing great at academics. I nagged and compared so much my daughter began to see nothing good in herself. Up to the point where she would voice out her thoughts about her brother having it all together unlike her. That was when it hit me. I was fast losing her. She had lost confidence in herself. Saw nothing good in her person. It became clear that my complains and comparisons had done nothing but shove my dear daughter into the chasm of low confidence.
My unlearning began then. This pattern I, and we all truthfully, thought and still think works, is a haunting journey to loss of confidence. And with that comes a lot of setbacks that may run all through a child’s lifetime. I had to retrace my steps immediately and seek a better means to raise my beloved daughter.
I am so glad I have been able to redeem my daughter, and help build her confidence back. The lessons I learnt have helped me in raising her younger sister too. I do not nag again, I rather open up conversations with my children now. I focus on their strengths and help them understand how their weaknesses will stand in the way of those strengths. They pick easily this way. They work towards perfection shoulders held high, confidence soaring to the heavens. I have chosen the right path. And seen how less stressful and highly effective it is. I am sorry, I will never leave this path!