The Shy Parent
My husband loves to criticize my parenting skills. This is strange because I have really well-adjusted, well-liked, smart as hell kids who even serve in their respective youth church leaderships. Sure they are tech addicts, junk food lovers, and sloppy kids, but they are great. Really great.
Today’s criticism was that I need to let him “rear” his kids in how to act socially because I am shy and live with social anxiety and am “not capable” of teaching them normal social behavior.
Because I am a total loser, I guess. Because I sense their shyness asking for ketchup at a restaurant and I ask for them. Because I have to remind them to say thank you. Because I help and don’t let them stumble all over themselves and get embarrassed. Because I grew up a severely shy child and I help because I love. Outside of asking adults for help, they absolutely do not shut up or have issues voicing anything to anyone. In fact, their teachers laughed when I said they are quiet. “No, no, no…they are not quiet. More like class clowns and ringleaders.”
Having kids is one of the absolute best ways to battle social anxiety and shyness. Just toss yourself in the jungle, because you HAVE to do it. You have to be your child’s advocate, and you have to make the phone calls and ask all the questions, and interact with their friends and parents, etc. There is no avoiding it, so buckle in and get stretched, dudes.
Even though I don’t always LIKE it, I do it, and I don’t lead on to my kids that I don’t. They see a normal human as their mother, and it’s a lot of work. Important work. So much Oscar - worthy acting.
Hearing this criticism made me super mad and also laugh a lot. I laughed later, because I was really mad at first.
If I spend all the time with my kids and do almost all of the parenting, and they are AWESOME, it only makes sense they learned that from a stable, capable, loving, and amazing mom.
That’s my theory anyway. Afterall, I’m a robot. What do I know?