Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Parenting: Harder on the Parents

I remember as a kid, before my dad would spank me for being disobedient, he would say "this is going to hurt me more than it hurts you". Yeah, right, I thought.

Recently I have been thinking a lot about how parenting is so much harder on the parents than it is on the kids. What I mean is, I think whatever a child goes through emotionally, the parents are experiencing right along with them - or maybe even instead of them - but about ten times more intense.

The other night Brian was holding Emma's bear, Timmy, and I looked at him and said "you've never loved a stuffed animal so much, huh?". That bear is an extension of Emma, and I'll be darned if I don't love it more than all my childhood animals combined.

When Emma started school this year it brought so many emotions for me at warp-speed. Will she be safe? Will she make friends? Will kids tease her? Will she feel uncomfortable? Will her teacher love her and cherish her the way Emma deserves? What if Emma gets lost? Imagine the panic she will feel!

Of course from Emma's perspective her biggest concerns were things like, what kind of snack am I having today and how soon can I ride the big yellow bus home? See what I mean? These experiences are SO much harder on the parent than they are on the kid.

So today we found out that Emma's name came up in a lottery to be moved to a new classroom with the newly hired kindergarten teacher. We had been given the option of volunteering Emma to make the move, but Emma wanted to risk it, hoping that she would end up with her current teacher, whom she loves. But alas, Emma will be moving, and her best friend will NOT.

I cried when I got this news. My heart breaks for Emma. Not only that, but the Big Move happens the day before her birthday.

Brian and I will sit down with Emma tonight and give her the news. We will point out all the positive things in the situation. We will smile. But inside, our hearts will be hurting. But you know what? Emma will be fine. It's so much harder on us than it is on them.


Laura B. said...

You're totally right. It's way harder for us.
But Emma is resiliant and will bounce back. She may even blossom there!

spoonerbyrd said...

Emma-lemma!! She'll be the star student in her new digs. I hear you, Shana, much more intense for the parents.