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3 Mistakes I Made with my Preschooler

by Lori Sciame | March 5th, 2013 | Preschool
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fastfood boyLearning to be an effective parent takes time. Just like any skill, parenting takes practice and time. I know this first hand, as I’ve been parenting for 21 years, and I finally feel as if I have a good handle on this important job. I thought about this seriously the other day as I waited for my youngest daughter to finish her driver’s ed class. She needs to attend this class for seven weeks, two days per week, for two hours each day. This translates into 28 hours of instruction. How I wished I had that much instruction before each transitional period in my children’s lives. Maybe if I had, I wouldn’t have to admit to the following mistakes I made with my first preschooler.

1. Fast Food

When my oldest son began preschool, we began a ritual of eating at a fast food restaurant before his afternoon classes. We did this once per week, and we enjoyed it immensely. The mistake: he mentally connected fast food with love and special attention from mom. If only I hadn’t made our lunch date into a weekly ritual. Of course, I learned from that mistake by the time my next two preschoolers came along, but I often wonder, does my son always want to eat out with me when he visits because of that ritual from so long ago?

2. Rigid Nap Time

My oldest son had been a decent napper when he was one and two years old, but when he hit preschool age, he became defiant when his 1:00 nap time approached. No matter what I tried, from extra stories to special songs, I couldn’t seem to get him to settle for his naps when I thought he needed one. This led to frustration for both of us! What I should have done: be more flexible. As the next two children came on the scene, I understood that some days preschoolers just don’t need a nap!

3. Overprotective

Because my oldest suffered from colic as an infant, I carried my role as soother/comforter too far. As he neared preschool age, I stressed over every cough, whimper, and bruise. In essence, I treated him like the little baby I had soothed during hours of crying we had shared together. When my next two children were born, I realized that children are tough, and that they WILL survive. I regret making this mistake, as I wonder if I taught my son to be more afraid of living than he should be.

I’m filled with guilt. What good mother doesn’t second guess herself as the years wear on and as our skill level increases? Right before my mom died last summer, she said something poignant. She whispered, “you’re a better mom than I ever was.” That blew me away. Maybe all mothers wonder if they’ve done the best they could for their children. Based on how much I loved my mother, and how I don’t ever think of her mistakes, I am going to assume my son has forgiven my mistakes as well.

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1 Comments
  1. I am a mother of 2 kids. I have also made mistakes with my first baby by forcing him to do things which he did not like. I realized that i should have allowed him to do things which he loved to do.With my second baby, who is a girl, i did not force her to sleep, eat and play.This way the kids are more happier and healthier.

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