Lars and I have been struggling with the birth of Ben's attitude. One day he was a sweet little boy and the next he's almost 7. His almost 2 years of school has given him lots of time to watch and learn from others outside the "world" we created for him. he's talking with attitude, figured out how to push his brothers buttons and generally lost his "sweetness" I can sum it up with a word my mother used to use... he's being "Fresh". Don't get me wrong Ben is an amazing person and we are so very proud of him it's just learning to deal with these changes has come with some challenges recently.
I'm no fool. I know I can't shelter him forever, but teaching the lessons of a well mannered young man is exhausting. Half the time I'm not sure my lessons are worth teaching, and I get lost in self doubt about what kind of parents we are and how to stop the doubt.
I always thought the most important years were the first 5. Now I'm rethinking this because I know that if Lars and I turn our heads the other way so we won't have to deal with the hard stuff we will have failed him. So where to turn for advice after we've grilled our parenting savior (nanny Nancy) but Google. I love Google, I love that it has become a verb in our language, I love that when I can't find an answer to one of Ben's questions he suggests we Google it. And guess what I find? advise from my good buddy Rabbi Shmuley Boteach. So many wise things come from this man, and this was his advice today.
Today's Shmuleyism 3/31/08
"If we are able to connect with our sons and speak to them sincerely about the special men we want them to grow up to be, then we will not invite the kind of rebellion that is so often seen with strong-willed children. All kids want is to be loved, valued and made to feel special. It is our job as parents to make our boys feel that way so that they won't spend the rest of their lives trying to prove themselves to complete strangers."
when I look at it this way I know we can make it!
for more on my buddy Shmuley you can go tohttp://www2.oprah.com/xm/sboteach/sboteach_main.jhtml