a follower

we all want our kids to be leaders…am i right?

the kid who stands up for him/herself. for what he/she believes in. who walks the path THEY choose. and not the path of someone else. especially, ESPECIALLY in the things that matter most like faith, and morals, and health, and safety, to name a few.

at least, that’s what i want for my kids, and yet, ladies and gentlemen…

…we have a boy who’s a follower.

a BIG follower.

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{random pics today of the lizard the boys caught and identified. friends, meet the western fence lizard. ūüôā }

not in just an *i’m-going-to-pick-what-my-friends-pick-because-they’re-my-buddy* kind of a way like most kids do, but in a much more extreme way. for example : we were getting a snack last night before bed, and i offered him a cheese stick. sweet pea instantly dove towards the drawer to get one as well; to which i told her, *no.* because she does not like them.

well, when said son heard this, he told me he no longer liked the cheese sticks either. {here’s me like, *what?! you’re joking me right? so the 57 other cheese sticks you ate in the last 2 weeks were just a fluke? i think NOT.*} so i pestered him a bit,

*buddy, why don’t you like them anymore?*

his response,

*well, she doesn’t like them, soooo….* {waves his hands in a circle}

and here’s me all : wow. really? you don’t like them because your sister doesn’t like them. wow. just wow.

{note : it came out much more sensitive and caring sounding and was followed by a mini-lecture about how it’s ok to make your own choices. to which i’m 100% certain i sounded like the teacher on charlie brown. you know what i’m talkin’ about : *wa, wa, wa, wa-wa, wa-wa.*}

he’s had other instances that have made me wonder how to break this extreme cycle of *follower.* like going out to eat with friends and he’ll order the same exact thing as his friend EVEN IF IT’S SOMETHING HE KNOWS HE DOESN’T LIKE.

yep. it’s that bad.

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so my question is this : beyond the charlie brown teacher lectures i give {very effective to be sure #not}, how do we encourage our kids to be leaders? {or in our case, a less extreme follower.} how do we let them know that it’s OK to be YOU. in fact it’s GREAT, to be YOU.

i’ve tried the *God made you special and loves you very much* angle {it’s part of my aforementioned charlie brown lecture}; i’ve tried the *the world wouldn’t be very fun if we were all the same* angle {imagine : the entire world, ALL sweet pea’s who didn’t like cheese sticks…bo-ring…}

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so please, tell me your thoughts. i’m eager to hear them. how do you encourage leadership in your children? how do you let them know it’s ok to be different? unique? to make their own choices? how do you let them know that people will still love you, will still be your friend even if you don’t like the exact same things as them? how do you help them feel confident and secure in who they are?

{side note : i consider our home a very loving, positive, encouraging one…not perfect, but that’s what we strive for…, so i don’t think he’s lacking there. which is probably why i’m perplexed by his seeming lack of confidence/belief in himself when it comes to making his own choices…}

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i know that feeling. how he feels. almost peer pressure, but not. wanting your friends to like you so bad that you’ll do anything to maintain that friendship. even if it’s compromising who you are. i feel for him, but¬†i’m looking forward to your responses. i’m praying th

at by tackling this now {when all we’re worried about is ordering the same meals}, we’ll be able to give him the tools to be confident in who he is, what he stands for, and what he believes in. so that down the road when bigger, scarier issues pop up, we won’t have to worry…

…anyway, that’s what this mama’s hoping/praying/believing.

thank you in advance for your insight my wise friends!

cheers  *

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