Parenting is an interesting endeavor. Just when you get the hang of it, the little people change things up on you. In my case, they’re not quite as little anymore.
We hosted a last-minute #DisneySide Villain Valentine Party at our home the Friday before Valentine’s. We had games planned, and activities to do, and then I realized, these kids, ages eight to eleven are at the age where they really don’t need me. They are fully independent.
I don’t know how to feel about that.
I guess a bit bittersweet.
Wait a second.
Let me just put my feet up.
Ahhhh, that’s nice. Wait… did I say bittersweet?
It was a pleasure to have all the food available for them to munch when they wanted, but they did decide to sit down altogether at our dining table. The conversation was so darling, and organic that I didn’t stop them, and I didn’t want to interrupt them. It was interesting to hear them talk about different dreams they had, and hear them make each other laugh. I was so pleased to watch the little grown ups they were turning into.
I had wanted to have them all paint their nails, villain style, but only a few wanted their nails decorated. Some of them wanted to play with our puppies, others jumped on our tramp, and then some of them watched Annie, the old school version.
The only thing they all did together, other than eat, was our little pin the smile on Mickey.
Watching these kids grow up and seeing how kind they were to each other, made me grateful. I know there are exceptions to this, but by and large I have noticed that children who are respectful, considerate, and kind are raised by parents who model, and reinforce those behaviors at home. As a parent who hosts play dates and parties for my kids, I observe behaviors, and I only want to invite back those kids who I enjoy being around too. Granted, there are some that I invite back because my kids enjoy their company, even when I don’t. These are sacrifices we, as parents make. (haha)
It’s okay that not every friend of my daughters’ are ones that I would like to spend time with too. I am learning that letting go of my girls, after I’ve taught them the character skills I hope they continue to hone, is a lot easier, and more thrilling than I had anticipated.
I do have to thank my mother for these lessons. She instilled in me the importance of being helpful. She always shared her stories of invitations to her professors homes with her classmates. At the end of a dinner, you could always find my mom, in the kitchen, helping to clean up. My mom told me, if you want to be invited back, you help pick up after yourself, you help the host, to show your gratitude by deed, not just by word. Before we went to anyone’s home, she always reminded us to be helpful, and polite. It’s the same chat I have with my daughters too. When my daughters notice people they know not doing the polite thing, I simply use those examples as a lesson of what not to do, and ask them how it feels to have someone over who isn’t thoughtful, polite and kind. I turn it around and ask them, if you don’t like how it felt, would you do the same to someone else? Turns out they get a lesson on villains, and heroes too.
Big Thank you to #DisneySide organizers MomSelect and sponsors for helping us host this party. I was sent a box of materials to help me host this party, and all opinions are my own.