My 3.5 years old daughter only wears tshirts these days to imitate her father who is currently her role model. Yesterday when I told her birthday is in December, she started crying. She wants it to be October, her dad's month of birth. I laughed and left it at that.
This morning, she wanted to wear a shabby tshirt to school and I suggested she wear a nice clean frock. I should perhaps have stopped there. I foolishly told her teacher and other kids would laugh at her dress if she wore it. "So what? Let them laugh!" was the instantaneous reply. I was shocked first, but later realised I would have said the same thing. I sometimes feel super proud I dont care about the society's sentiments and rules, but when I heard the "so what" from my daughter, it felt strange. Worse, it made me question my own values. Was I maintaining double standards? Hell, the simple words made me really think. And that's when I started feeling sorry for my mom who always maintained her calm and dignity when I rebelled and yet was stern. It must have been tough raising me. Having to keep with all the nonsense I did in the name of individuality! :)
Individuality is good, amazing when you embrace it, when you defy the conventions, not so much when you have to encourage and sail through others'. It's scary, seriously! :)
I can do countless hours of research and write. But this parenting business is tough. I see you're thinking that it's just started. Well, I cant wait to see my DD grow into a responsible, cheerful, thinking, mature adult. I hope to take parenting classes so I graduate with straight As in life. But even if I falter, stumble, break down or succeed, I know the experience filled with love is going to make me evolve into a better person.