Bringing me back to one of my worst parenting mistakes…

September 2, 2008 at 3:46 pm (mistakes, Sunshine)

I guess I should preface this by owning up to one of my biggest parenting mistakes.  It happened a little more than a year ago.  Sunshine had just started school.  She was so proud of herself and happy to see me, and I so looked forward to that huge hug every day when I picked her up.  On maybe her third day, she had had an accident at school.  I saw her in a different outfit than what I had left her in.  The first words out of my mouth were, I am embarrassed to say, “Oh, Sunshine, you had an accident.”  Not “Hi honey, I missed you so much.”  Not “Did you have a great day at school today?”  The beautiful grin on her face disappeared, and I knew immediately that I had made a huge mistake.  It was a learning experience that hit me like a ton of bricks.  I will try my hardest to never again make my child feel that small.  Accidents happen.  They’re part of life.

Combine really feeling like accidents happen, with the first few weeks of preschool.  You’re desperately hoping/praying that your child really is ready.  You want to prove to the teacher that your child is indeed potty trained.  She was only 2.5 after all, and she’d regressed a bit after we’d had Ladybug.  I just really wanted her to be ready.  She was ready.  It’s just that accidents happen.  The look on her face was enough to drive that home.  It’s hard though, as a parent.  Never knowing when you might screw up.  
Today I saw someone make the same mistake that I made last year.  The first thing out of this mom’s mouth was that her daughter had had an accident.  I cringed all over and it brought me right back to where I was a year ago.  I felt awful all over again.  I ran up to my daughter, gave her the biggest hug, and told her that I missed her terribly while she was at school.  
I wish I could tell parents everywhere that accidents happen.  It’s not a big deal.  It doesn’t necessarily mean that your child isn’t ready for school; it’s just that they had so much fun that they forgot to go.  Your immediate fear that your child isn’t ready isn’t worth making them feel small.  To a preschooler, feeling small is about the worst that they could possibly feel.  May I never make that  mistake again.  

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