Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Self Esteem, Girls and Wow

It occurred to me yesterday that we allow my almost 8 year old daughter to have a say in almost every thing that comes into her life. She has a choice as to when she wants to visit, call or text her father. My daughter has a choice on whether or not she wants to do an extra curricular activity, she has a say in her clothes shopping for school. Pretty much the girl has had it really easy because she has always been pretty respectful and mature for her age. Yesterday, rather over the weekend, while she was at her Dad's house it dawned on me .... Miss Ki gets to make decisions most almost 8 year old don't have a say in. The girl has a say in almost everything we do as a family because Justin and I feel that a family makes decisions together. Mind you, we allow our children to have a say, as in share their opinion, but we, the adults, make the final decision.

This is where it gets a bit cloudy for my daughter because she is the type of child who shares her opinion and expects us to go with what she feels we should do. Not anymore, she has had a say and still will continue to have a say but it's time I stand up and be the adult around here with her. Miss Ki has been able to do a lot of extra curricular activities and this year it seems they are going to overlap causing quite a stressful situation for her. I made a parental decision to pull her from one of her normal activities she did last year, we loved doing it together but over the Summer and even during the start of this school year I have noticed something with my daughter; her self esteem is down, her anger is up and she isn't the spunky little girl I always known and raised her to be.

Miss Ki still has her soccer, after all her father is the coach and I feel I can't make a decision on that without talking with him. Soccer is only a seasonal sport and not a full year thing that she is doing so much better at after playing since Kindergarten. Soccer is something she can play no matter where we move as she plays for a rec center and non-residents can play with just an extra non-resident fee. Which means should we move out of this town we live in, she and her father can continue doing their "soccer thing" no matter what.

I have been questioning myself and making myself  feel like I am making a mean decision to pull her from all other activities until further notice. I didn't just do it on a whim, I actually sat down and spoke with my daughter expressing my concerns with her self esteem, her mood changes and how she seems to be unhappy about some things in her life. I told her I feel like her and I should work on building her self esteem back up and getting her emotionally okay as well as focusing on school. Miss Ki does great in school, however, we haven't had a parent/teacher conference as of yet so I don't know if her emotional behavior is playing out in school at any level yet.

What I do know is that my daughter is easily put to tears, easily throwing something and raising her voice at a whim to her family. In our house, we are a family and we do not speak to each other in such a tone, we take time outs and then come back to discuss any issues together as a family, yes my chidlren have a say, they have the right to speak up and tell me or their father/step father if we are doing something they feel is not okay, hurting their feelings or what have you. We are the type of parents our children can say something to us, in a respectful, polite way if they feel unhappy with a decision we made or with how we handled a situation.

No matter how much we let our children have a say in our family routine, the end result is that Justin and I are the adults and we are taking back some of our "adult rights" one of which includes the decision to pull children from activities should their emotional well being need to be worked on. Counseling services is next ... because if I watch my little girl fall apart and do nothing to stop it, I fear for the worse! I feel like no one interfered when I was younger to get me counseling or anything and my teen life went spiraling downhill along with my grades. One thing I refuse to do, is let my daughter follow in my foot steps of low self esteem as a child, I will do everything in my power to build that girl right back up so she knows that she is the best and most loved little girl in the world.

My daughter says to me the other day "well Mama I would love for us to talk but I do want a counselor because after all, your expertise is not in that area". Now do you all see what I am dealing with? An advanced, big word speaking, too big for her britches, almost 8 year old! Need I say more?!
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