Thursday, October 1, 2009

Sticking to My Parental Guns

Last week, Emma joined the choir at school. She's been looking forward to it for a couple years now, since only fourth and fifth graders can join.

I was hesitant to add it to her schedule -- she's plenty busy already. History has shown that Emma needs her downtime. No one wants to be around the little crazy person (to put it mildely) she becomes when she's feeling overwhelmed.

But she begged and pleaded to join, expostulating all the reasons she knew would convince me to decide in her favor.

I caved.

But I did impose a two week trial. If she was overwhelmed, cranky or not getting her regular chores and homework done, choir was over. Finito. Second chance deprived.

Today was the end of the two weeks (school weeks, that is). And it was not pretty. She has not been doing her chores; she's been exceedingly volatile; and there hasn't been much time for violin practice.

So no more choir for Emma.

Her fury was something to be seen. Biblical proportions here, folks. There was screaming and crying and begging and pleading and slamming and much gnashing of teeth. But worst of all was her deep blue eyes filled with all-consuming sadness.

I came so close to caving. I wanted to believe her "better choices" promises. A strong parent, though, doesn't give in on such things. By Supergluing myself to my "choir trial" declarations of last week, I made it through this morning's drama mostly unscathed.

In fact, I feel pretty darned good. Yes, I did stick to my parental guns, but it is more than that. It's that, even after such a horrible morning, Emma went to school smiling and laughing and thrilled that she is so quickly mastering her seven times tables.

It's that because I was calm and empathetic throughout the early morning drama she was able to move on and look forward to other parts of the day.

It's that somehow Scott and I have created a strong, resilient, amazing child.

No comments: