Parenting: mom, watch your comments towards kids

On Wednesday night, I called mom back in China. We had a short but pleasant talk over the telephone. As usual, mom asked me how is Eric. I started to complain, such as, “Oh, he is very haughty. Sometimes he’s really a handful. Maybe because he liked to watch the cartoon Tom and Jerry, he learned a lot of naughty tricks. Blar, blar…” Mom expressed her understanding, and consoled me with a few words.

After hanging up the phone, I suddenly realized how foolish I am: I complained about Eric all the time to mom during the phone call. I only call mom once a week and she must want to know more about our daily life and the growing progress of Eric. How come I didn’t provide her with the objective information about Eric’s update? I was astonished and felt ashamed about my negative thinking and selfishness.

I have a coworker whose son is the same age as Eric. Whenever she talked about her son, she would become very excited, bragging all the little but great things her son did. Her sense of pride as a mother flowed out of her words and expression. Privately, I would think she is kind of exaggerating. However, at the same time, I realized more than once that I went to the other end of the extreme – complaining.

Eric is a good boy. He is sweet, obedient, and helpful most of the time. Richard and I always share with each other about the little glittering things and moments that Eric offers us. However, when I talk to other people, I usually come up with the “modest” comments on Eric. I could blame my upbringing background and oriental culture for this kind of modesty. But I know the outside environment is not the main cause of my negative thinking. Besides, now I am in the U.S., and I should observe the American customs and culture. My negative thinking comes from within…from my diffidence.

People often say parents grow together with their kids. It is so true. Self-improvement is always on my agenda and I have a long way to go. I have realized that nowadays I become more and more confident. However, confidence still lacks of solid foundation in my heart. Diffidence is yet able to find its way in some aspects of my character. I’ll keep on improving myself.

I’ll learn to fully enjoy and appreciate the growth progress of our kids every day. I’ll take note of our daily lives and my thinking along the way. When I talk to others about my kids, I’ll be confident enough to comment proudly, pleasantly, and objectively.


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