31 Days of Lessons Learned: Day Twenty Six
Don’t Stifle Your Child’s Creativity and Decision-Making (Girls Can Be Batman Too)
Before I get started on this lesson, let me make a quick note. While I mention it’s important to give your child the space to blossom and find their own way, if he/she is doing something wrong or potentially harmful, I would recommend stepping in and stopping the behavior and/or decision-making.
OK, on with the lesson.
I think we’re all guilty of trying to force our will on someone from time-to-time and making them be something they don’t want to be. I’ve learned that I don’t really like it when it happens to me, so one of the conscious decisions I made when I found out I was going to be a dad was to make sure my daughter wasn’t exposed to that type of thing. While I want to guide her and teach her right from wrong, it’s important for me to let her discover herself and her creativity by the decisions she makes in life.
I was almost guilty of this recently though when we were hunting for her Halloween costume. At first, she wanted to be a monkey. Then, with about two weeks to go, she changed her mind to a squirrel. We had trouble coming up with a passable squirrel costume, so we decided to let her loose in a costume store. We went to her section and let her choose the costumes to try on. It was almost costume overload because she had about six costumes she was choosing from initially. Right when we had it narrowed down to a reasonable number of costumes, Lily added one last costume to the list: Batman.
My inner geek was extremely proud. The Batman fanatic in me might have shed a tear.
After that initial swell of pride hit, I started to panic.
Would people confuse her for a boy? Would people think I put her up to it? Can I talk her into a Batgirl costume? What would people think?
Because I had those thoughts, I tried my hardest to talk her into going with a cute little witch costume. In the end, my daughter’s mind was made. She was going to be Batman.
The more I thought about it, the more I chastised myself for my original thinking. How cool is it that my daughter chose Batman as her costume? I think that’s awesome. And to think, I was going to impose my will on her and make her settle for a witch costume.
Want to know what’s even cooler than my daughter dressing up as Batman?
My wife is making me a Robin costume.
Watch out come Halloween because the Dynamic Duo is on the prowl.