Many parents find it all too easy to beat themselves up over the job they’re doing, and I’m no different. If something goes wrong, or if my daughter has a hard day, I’m quick to assume it’s because I’m doing something wrong as a parent. Of course, there are a lot of things that go right, too, but those I rarely take any credit for. But I should! In fact, when I took a moment to think about it, I realized there were a lot of things I was doing right as a parent:
1. My daughter is so kind to her baby brother.
I was worried that she’d be jealous of her brother, but there’s never been anything but intense love and kindness between the two of them. She looks out for him in ways I never expected, and only wants him to be happy.
2. She loves to read.
Now that she’s learning how to read, this is even more amazing to watch.
3. Music is one of her favorite things.
Music is really important to my husband and me, but I also think appreciating music is important for a child’s education. My daughter can’t wait to learn how to play instruments, and already makes up her own songs.
4. She enjoys being physically active.
I played team sports growing up, and while I know they aren’t for everybody it IS important for a child’s health to be physically active. Luckily, my daughter likes playing sports so getting her up and running is never a challenge.
5. She is finally at a point where she’ll try new foods.
It’s easy to focus on all the food battles, but I must be doing something right since she loves salad!
6. She (usually) remembers to put her shoes away.
Cleaning up after yourself is a hard lesson to learn, but I always feel a little zap of pride when I see my girl remembered to put her shoes away without any prompting from me.
7. She goes to the bathroom at night.
It’s a small thing, but it’s just another sign that my girl is growing up and becoming more independent.
8. Her teachers seem to genuinely like her.
I really stress being polite and attentive around adults, and I’m happy when I hear that she is a good student. But I’m even happier when I pick her up after school and her teachers run over to tell me about something sweet, creative, or funny she did. Her teachers are proud of her, and I am, too.
9. She’s got a good sense of humor.
You need a good sense of humor to survive this life, and I think my kids will be just fine!
10. She conquers her fears.
Watching my daughter do the things she was once afraid of (like up climb high, go down slides, etc) is so gratifying. I tell her all the time that what’s important is that she try things, even if they seem a little bit scary, because you never know what could happen. Now she’ll say things like, “Mom, that jungle gym looked too scary, but then I remembered you always tell me to try things and you were right! It wasn’t scary!”
All images courtesy of Heather Spohr