We were visiting Minneapolis over the summer break.On a trip to the mall, my daughter found out that a youtuber named Miranda Sings would be visiting the Mall of America to sign her recently published book. My daughter was very excited and requested I take her. Being the good mother that I am, I immediately agreed.
When we got to MOA, we found out that we were too late to get in line for the book signing. My daughter was extremely disappointed. She had dressed like Miranda Sings, done her hair like Miranda Sings and even bought red lipstick and put it on.
When I saw my daughter’s face, i could feel and taste her disappointment. My heart literally and figuratively broke. My maternal warrior instincts kicked in at this point. I decided I would do whatever it took to make my daughter feel better. I offered to take her shopping, buy her cookies, buy her clothes and take her on rides.
And then I paused. The analytical part of my brain stepped in for a moment. Are you making the right decision, it asked me?
I stopped to rethink. On the one hand, I wanted to make my daughter happy by buying her material things so she would forget she couldn’t meet this youtuber. On the other, wasn’t this a great learning experience? An opportunity for my daughter to learn she cannot always get what she wants. In fact, life is more about not getting what you want and dealing with those disappointments. Life is not fair.
Shouldn’t I explain to my daughter that yes, it was unfortunate she didn’t get a wristband to get in line for the autograph, but this is life. She has to accept the fact that she was not going to meet the famous youtuber and just deal with it. This will help her prepare to face disappointments in her adult life and build a strong foundation for emotional, coping skills.
How do I find the balance? To be tough and be kind? How will I know when to give in and when to say no?
What would you have done?