Sunshine is six and in kindergarten this year. She has always been a sensitive, eager to please, rule following, sharing little girl. Things must be equal and (with the exception of Monkey) she is generally nice and polite to everyone. All are wonderful qualities, I am always so proud when strangers come up and compliment me on her behavior. It's pretty common too, and it's not just little old ladies that think they should say something nice about a child. Men and women, old and young (I like to think that 30's are still young).
It's also a quality that has also concerned me. Nice people that want to please can be walked all over. Their feelings are easily hurt when others don't share and give as easily. Teasing and name calling will break her heart, not to mention her mom's. The question is; How do I raise a child that can stand up for herself without losing all of those qualities? How do I teach her that it's ok to say 'no' without being mean about it? How do I tell her that if someone isn't nice it's fine to think that they aren't worth it without teaching her that she should feel superior to others? How do I teach her that not being friends is ok, but following the crowd and not staying or reaching out to someone isn't acceptable? I suppose these are questions that all parents ask. Questions that they wonder about from the moment they realize they are going to be responsible for his/her child for the rest of their life, not just the first year or two. I know I forgot when I said, "Let's have another baby!", I forgot that, oh yeah, we would be responsible for preschool (as Sunshine was only in preschool when Bug was born) and grade school years and (good Lord) teenage years. It's not just feeding and clothing them but guiding them to become good, well rounded, sane members of the community, worthy of being called a good citizen.
The worst part?, I don't know any of the answers. At all. None. I suppose I am struggling like every other parent out, trying to keep my head above water and sacrificing my own sanity for the sake of my children.
The best part? Sunshine is a good child. She may have the typical issues of a typical 6 year old but that would be a bit concerning if she didn't. She is a good child though. She is giving and she is sharing, even with both of her brothers. She will gladly give up the last bite of her dessert to anyone, without being asked. She will make sure someone is ok when they are hurt and shows empathy and sympathy when others look past and ignore. I am proud to be able to claim her as my daughter. I hope I am able to keep her as wonderful.