Like Jennifer Garner, We too Must Endorse Choices Made by Our Kids
When your child makes a 12-foot-long scarf for you on your birthday, you better wear it, even if you are Jennifer Garner. Recently, the actor posted on Instagram, a photograph of herself wearing an “unusual” scarf. It is a birthday gift to the actor from her nine-year-old daughter, and has received a wink and a nod from many parents.
Parenting is so much more than about raising a dependent and perennially demanding human sapling into an independent yet demanding grown up. It’s not just about cleaning poop or sleepless nights. It’s about surrendering to those wide innocent eyes and keeping your adult logic at bay.
So, when your child offers to pick a dress for you out of your closet, or paint your nails, or makes you a birthday present, you relish it more than a free trip around the world.
Involving your children in your adult existence
Every parent looks forward with a bit of anticipation to receiving home-made gifts from their children. We all have folders full of birthday cards, Mother’s Day cards from our little ones, or pencil stands and beaded necklaces which are expected to be used in public places.
As they run wide-eyed from one aisle to another, your heart races in fear of having to wear a T-shirt with a giant Mickey Mouse jovially dancing in front. My husband lives in constant fear that one day our daughter is going to parade him in front of the world in a baby pink shirt. While his aversion to pink is a topic for an entire post, I cannot help but think that he would have instantly placed me in front of a firing squad.
For your children, you wear a friendship band they made from paper clips or an ensemble they picked out for you is a proud moment.
In 2015, actor Summer Bellessa let her three-year-old son pick her attire for a week. She wrote an article on Babble, about what this experience taught her.
“I would recommend letting your little one pick your outfit one day this week and seeing how it goes. Not only will it be something that they remember, it will also be liberating. I realized how little people really care about what you’re wearing. The pressure we put on ourselves to look a certain way is just that: pressure we put on ourselves. I wore two different shoes for two days, and no one noticed until I pointed it out. You can be playful with your clothes, or casual or stylish, but it’s really up to you. The last thing I learned from this experiment, is to find moments to be silly. Silliness is good for your kids and for your heart. Don’t take yourself too seriously: they’re just clothes.”
Empowering one’s children to choose things for parents is a learning experience for us as well. While they learn that their choices matter to their parents, we learn to take a humble pill. Modern kids are amazingly aware and sorted. When I was four, probably the only decision I could make on my own was the flavour of ice-cream I wanted to eat.
Kids today know what they want to watch, wear or even listen to. Their understanding of clothes and trends is beyond our belittling perception. Their concept of combinations and style might end up pulling the rug of complacency from under our feet. It also turns the tables on us and gives us an experience of how children must feel when we autocratically choose clothes and gifts for them, and just expect them to like it.
Endorsement of home-made gifts or clothes they have helped to pick for us, helps boost their confidence.
It makes them feel like a big and important part of our adult world. Wearing that beaded necklace they bought with their pocket-money is like a certificate of excellence for them.
Garner, a popular celebrity proudly endorses her daughter’s gift, because at the end of the day that is what parenthood is about. It’s about being proud of your children and showing faith in their choices.
Photo Credit : Jumbodium blog
Yamini Pustake Bhalerao is a writer with the SheThePeople team, in the Opinions section. The views expressed are author’s own.