The Impact We Have On Our Kids

DATE: 03/31/2009 04:01:43 PM

work ethic.

Doesn’t seem like something I’d be blogging about in regard to my five year old son.  But, here I am doing just that.  I am starting to realize that everything I do as a parent has an affect on molding my children.  Here’s my most recent example.

I like to think I have a very strong work ethic.  When my children were born, I had the luxury of having a very flexible job in a Big 4 accounting firm.  Following maternity leave, I returned to work on a 70% schedule.  After roughly 18 months of doing that, I decided to put the kids in daycare some of the time and I went back to work on an 85% schedule.  This included me having one day per week off work and being able to work from home one other day each week.  During my work from home day, my mom watched the children so I could actually get something accomplished.  I have always demonstrated to my kids that it’s good for mommy to have a job.

When the twins were 3 1/2, I had the opportunity to stay home and not work for five months.  Following that, I returned to work full-time since they were entering pre-K.  So that brings us to today (or yesterday as the story goes).

I picked up the kids from pre-K and we were talking about how excited they are to be heading to kindergarten in August.  They are not only happy to be going to “big kid school”, but thrilled they will be part of the Little Panthers.

Little Panthers is an organization that is affiliated with our local high school football and cheerleading program.  Young children can join little panthers to participate in full-contact football (I know….he’s only 5!) and semi-competitive cheerleading.  Well, the kids just can’t wait.

So, we’re driving home and Jack says, “Hey mommy, can I go to the YMCA tonight?”  I asked why he wanted to go thinking he may want to go swim.  He said, “Because I am going to be a football player so I better start working out morning and night so I’m ready.”  I was floored.

I write about this not only as something to say, but I’m trying to wrap my mind around how to respond.  On one hand, it’s good to know that my children are already beginning to understand that to be good at something they need to put forth effort.  But at what cost?  Should a 5 year old be thinking like that?

I welcome any comments or perspectives from other parents who have dealt with this before me….

AUTHOR: Pauline
DATE: 04/02/2009 10:24:35 AM

Bless him. I think that is really sweet. Kids really are mini adults, full of great ideas but when he realises what time he has to get up in the morning to work out before school and then after a hard day at school back to the YMCA, phew!

Anyway, yes, a 5 yr old would think like that. I have an 11 yr old son and 6 yr old daughter and it is amazing the things they come out with which makes them sound like they are whizzing through their childhood. We, the adults cause the ‘problems’ by looking at things so differently to the children.

Then again, you could put the idea to him what day’s he needs to go, what times and then he will let you know……….it was just an idea, “I was just thinking aloud Mom, I was not really serious” haha.



About Trish McFarlane

Trish is a practicing HR professional with over 15 years of experience in Big 4 public accounting, PR, and healthcare. She is also an international speaker. With expertise in leadership, employee relations, performance management, training & development, change management, social media, and innovation, Trish is able to capture readers and audiences with real-life examples of how leadership plays out in organizations. I am also a working mother of 7 year old twins with a great hubby and three dogs I adore. View all posts by Trish McFarlane

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