We thought we would take a look in the rear view mirror. A long hard look. Much like you, we watch our children, those that have left home or those who are winding their way through high school, with overwhelming pride at the wonderful people they have become. Given half a chance we could devote an entire blog to bragging about our offspring. But here we are going to try something harder, something that might just help parents younger than ourselves. We are going to talk about regrets and missteps. We are going to examine parenting moments that at this point we are pretty certain were mistakes.
Some mistakes just seem to happen. We know now what we couldn’t have known then. Other missteps are the product of perhaps focusing on something other than our child’s best interest. So we are going to lay it out here and hope that others will jump aboard and perhaps reflect on those things that, well if we had it to do over again, we just might do differently.
I sent one of my kids to school too early. It sounds like such a little thing, but I think the consequences lingered. He was 2 1/2 and was old enough for nursery school and I told myself that his brother had gone at the same age. Yet, he simply wasn’t ready.
This was a boy who needed another year home on the playroom floor with his lego and Thomas the Tank Engine toys. School taxed him. The rules and structure weighed on his little self. He needed long mornings in his pajamas building with his Knex. Yet I missed all of the signs.
I was blinded by another pregnancy that left me exhausted, needing a break from my older two, my workload which had suddenly ramped up and my son’s ability to adapt and fit in socially. I mistook the fact that he was socially able for the fact that psychologically he truly was not ready.
Did it derail him? No, he’s in college now. But I think my decision set a very bad tone for his first couple of years at school. He had an overflowing list of complaints about starting at such a tender age, and looking back now I know I should have been listening.