Sunday, February 22, 2009

Parental Popularity

I know at least two moms who really worry about their daughter's popularity.  One has a kid in middle school the other in high school.  In both cases I suspect the mom wasn't very popular in high school.  Of course I've also heard of moms who are disappointed if their daughter's are not as popular as they were in school.  The same is probably true of dads and sons.

I went to two high schools.  In the first I felt accepted and popular.  I moved to the other for my senior year and never quite fit in.  Those are my memories to carry and I make an effort to not relive my life over  via my kids.  I worry more that they have the strength of personality and confidence to go beyond what people think and focus more on what they want to be or do. 

It's hard sometimes.  You worry that they are not going to be invited to parties or that nobody will come to theirs.  One of my sons once went to a party for a very sweet boy and he was the only one who showed up.  That had to hurt the kid, but I know that it hurt the mom too.  Today this boy is still sweet and he's smart, funny and pretty confident about himself.  Why?  I think it's because his mom didn't make a big deal about things like that party.  She gave him so much love, support and guidance that he didn't need to search for it in others.   Not all moms do that.  I have seen grown women in tears because their kid was excluded.  What message does that send?  How can it say anything other than "You're not good enough unless someone likes you?"

Too bad more parents don't follow this mom's example.  She's a great mom who has raised two great kids.  Think of how better the world would be if more people thought of how things will affect their kids BEFORE they said or did things.  Sadly so many try to gain or recapture the popularity of youth though the lives of their children.

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