Mommy, I Want To Go To The Park With Friends

NMPK Cover with Chapman nameTwo weeks ago, I shared a new workshop I’m preparing for the 2015 Hearts at Home conferences at a local moms group. That day the group’s leader, Sandi, shared a few thoughts of her own on the topic.

I loved what she had to say and asked her if I could share it with you.  This is so in line with the No More Perfect Kids message and so applicable for anyone who is a parent!

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9C“Embrace Your Mothering Personality” was the title of Jill’s presentation at our moms’ group. My first thought?  Myers Briggs.  I took this test twice during my 18-year career before becoming a stay-at-home mom.  And I learned that I am an introvert, while both my boys seem to be extroverts.

This difference became apparent to me when my younger son Ryan was 3-years old.  At that time, he was considered a special needs child who attended three therapy sessions a week at Easter Seals.  Ryan had speech issues and couldn’t communicate effectively.

Although he couldn’t talk well, he could play well.  Ryan was all boy (still is) and always wanted to be outside running, jumping, climbing, doing.  That was the summer we made it our mission to go to every park in the Bloomington-Normal area.  Little did I realize that there were over 40 parks.

One day we discovered a park we hadn’t been to before and I got so excited for Ryan.  It was such an attractive park with fun playground equipment AND there was no one there.  We had the entire park to ourselves!

I remembered when I was a youngster and how much I enjoyed a park with no other kids around.  I didn’t have to share the monkey bars and there was no waiting for a swing.  I could do whatever I wanted with no one in my way.  Except, I couldn’t ride those wooden see-saws that gave your butt splinters. Anyway…

I expressed my enthusiasm to Ryan who looked at the cool slides and interesting climbing walls, only to turn to me and say:  “Mommy, I go ta pok wit frens”  

He wanted to go to a park with friends.  He wanted to socialize with other children.  Ryan was only 3, but he knew what he wanted–and it wasn’t at all what I would’ve wanted.

It was at that moment when I realized my son and I wouldn’t always like the same things. We were wired differently.  When pregnant with Ryan, he was a part of me, and I needed to accept the fact he was no longer an extension of me.

God used Ryan to teach me a worthwhile lesson.  Since that day, I continually pray that the Lord helps me to allow both my boys to develop into the young men God intended, not into adults with interests and a personality like mine.

What about you? Where do you need to embrace your child’s personality? In what ways do you need to accept the fact your child is no longer an extension of you, but instead an individual with their own likes and dislikes?  (You can be a part of the conversation here on the blog or through Facebook or Twitter.)

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