Tuesday, November 3, 2015

"Mom, You're Embarrassing Me!!!"

remember loving the 4th grade. I had my first pivotal teacher in that grade. I also have the fondest memories of lessons, books, and field trips. Something I don't remember is being embarrassed by my mother. If anything the only embarrassing moments of my upbringing came in high school when my mom insisted I shop for clothes at the "$3.99" clothing store. Now I look back and could care less, but then, it was sooooo embarrassing.

When my son began 4th grade I was so ready to share this great year with him. If he felt how I did about this year of  schooling, I knew we'd bond and connect on the best aspects of it. What I didn't count on was him feeling so embarrassed suddenly.... about.... everything.

First it was me simply watching him as he did morning exercises before school (he used to love when momma stayed to watch and he'd wave and wave). Then it was me writing in his daily journal in the teacher/parent section. What's embarrassing about that? Okay maybe I did write something cheesy like "Isaiah is so awesome!" Well, when your kid uses the username "awesomeisaiah" for everything you think it's fair game. Sadly, it's not. The latest straw came during basketball tryouts when I reached to hold his hand and he quickly snatched his hand out of mine. 

In that moment, I ached a little, but I also understood. Suddenly, my kid cares about fitting in. Now, I don't believe he's hungry for approval; he just doesn't want to deviate from the perceived norm. The norm in his case seems to be avoiding all things that could be perceived as childish.

To that point, this year he also struggled with dressing up as superman for Halloween. He picked the costume weeks in advance, but as the big day neared, suddenly he had second thoughts and again... that nasty stinging E-word surfaced. "But mom, what if I get embarrassed???" 

He went for it, after my pep talk, and my deep desire to make him work through this as opposed to rescuing him from the moment. He dressed as superman and had a blast. It all worked out. 

He's also told me in the kindest way not to write notes in his daily journal or watch him at morning exercise time. These things matter, so I respect that. I just thought I'd have until the teen years to worry about embarrassing my kid.

Hermanas chime in? This momma wants to know how you've dealt with this change in your child.

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