The Fear of Failure

It happens to us all. You're at the playground, or the grocery store, or on the phone with your best friend and it happens-Someone says something that their kid can do better than yours. And then the panic sets it. Why does little Johnny finish his math more quickly than my son? Why does little Addy color inside the lines with such finesse while mine hates to color all together? What is wrong with my kid that he can't do basic re-grouping subtraction and others are doing long division? WHY DO WE COMPARE?!

We compare out of fear. We are afraid that our child will not come out on top, be successful, and have the life we have dreamed up for them. We may not want to admit it, but we have pre-planned our child's future for the most part. My son will be a meteorologist, or a math professor for MIT, or perhaps he will cure cancer, but either way he's going to win a Nobel Prize, change the world for the better, and become historical with his awesomeness. OK, so those are my personal choices for him. And in order for him to succeed as I have it planned for him, he will need that long division and that precision that only coloring will give him.

And that's only academically! How many times have we been out in public and seen that child who is so well behaved it is almost as if they aren't even real!? And of course this child is there at that horrid moment our child has decided to whine, moan, groan, complain, and tantrum All.At.The.Same.Time! So here we are, feeling like failures because little Johnny is being an angelic model child while ours is more like "Problem Child 14."

Well, here's the truth of the matter, Mom and Dad. In everything your child does, there WILL always be someone, at some point in time, who will be doing it better. There will be times when your kid will be the envy of all the parents, and times when you'd give anything to crawl under a rock and never come out. And guess what, it's ok! Yes, that's is ALL ok! You're child is not a monster, he is not a brat, he is not going to grow up to be a disrespectful adult who is only concerned about himself. He is going to grow up to be successful in whatever he does, and he is going to love you and respect you for being his parent. So the next time so and so is bragging about her kid and how great they are, smile and say that is fantastic and remember all of the wonderful things your child can do.  And the next time your son pees on the family pet, just smile and remember, "This, too, shall pass...."