After recently watching the Why Am I series one on TVNZ on demand I thought to myself: "Does my 4 year old have self control? If I offered him a marshmallow but said he could have 2 if he waited 15 minutes would he be able to wait?" The answer is a big 'NO' - of course not! But then again who can resist marshmallows? Maybe he is like his mother who recently scoffed a whole box of cream doughnuts; hey, I did run nearly 3km the following day to offset it so please, no judgement and if I am practising mindfulness there is no such thing as guilt. It’s in the past and I'm now in the presently in the moment of writing about my 4 year old.
My 4 year old has amazing self control and according to the study this means he will do well in life; that makes me a proud mummy. I am still mulling over what personality type he fits into though. Confident? Well adjusted? Reserved? Definitely not the last one, I can’t think of a pre-school boy that is reserved. I am sure he does not have problems with socialising, in fact lucky for me quite the opposite. I used to find it quite concerning when I dropped him at day care from and 2 years of age there was not a single tear! I used to worry about this because I was worried he lacked attachment with me. More recently though when I dropped him off I was told ‘you can go now mummy.’ One of the teachers overheard him say this and said to me "that must hurt" to which I replied "no not really". Now I know that is just his personality type and nothing specifically to do with me. Maybe I should ask her if she has watched Why Am I because this is a good sign and then she also might be able to pick out all the kids at kindy who are potentially on a pathway to becoming a potential criminal - a scary thought. So by a process of elimination (and I'm not one to fit people into boxes) I'm going for a little bit confident and mostly well adjusted. I am excited this means he will be an entrepreneur… but seriously, this is just an exciting thought as to how he may turn out rather than having specific expectations on my part. Although this is interesting research we must remember to approach it with critical thinking, there are no doubt many arguments one could come up with against these findings.
As a mother, I view the world through my sons eyes. I can only do the best I with what I know and I try not to feel guilty when I do stuff up. I do not need to shelter my children from my bad days or from the ‘potential criminals’ out there. This is the real world and my son is high on life, oblivious to the others around him. So I kind of feel I am the kind of mother I want to be despite what others think. I listen to my instincts and follow my values. The only expectation I have for my children for them to live a happy life and the foundation for this is the values we choose to follow. One of of these values is how we as a family tackle challenges: together we will always find a way through. If my son grows up with similar values then I feel I will have succeeded on this level. Another value I have is ‘everything’ in moderation which obviously I don’t always stick to, especially when it comes to marshmallows.
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Amy and Elspeth