Most of us think our children are wonderful, and most of them are. When we become parents for the first time we are transported and transformed--a new dimension is added to our lives and we will never be the same.
But some of us go off the deep end.
We get postpartum depression, anxiety, and we are simply tired from an endless lack of sleep.
Sometimes these states lead us to worry for our kids, too. Are they cold, hot, hungry, tired, sick, or scared? Not all of our worries are excessive, but some are.
Some parents want to protect their children from TOO much--they don't want them to experience sadness or fear because they are afraid that it will be too much for their delicate son or daughter. They are not allowed to play outside because they might get hurt, they can't sign up for swimming because chlorine is bad for them, and no cooking classes because they might cut off a finger.
Sure, you can hover around them and make sure they don't hit their heads when they are young, or not let them go outside when it is raining so they don't catch a cold, but at what cost?
Kids are ferocious--they can be mean and savvy and are born with instincts just like any other wild animal. Of course we teach them to be polite and to have manners, but I think we may also "nice" a lot of their natural urges away. We teach them to share to a point where they give up their own wants and needs because some other kid wants the same thing they do. They are not bad little people because they have opinions and desires, but for some reason our society has made it seem so.
Books like Where the Wild Things Are speak to that in a child. They are told they are allowed to be fierce and to speak out, and someone will still love them if they do.
Maurice Sendak "refuses to lie to children", and says he will not "cater to the bullshit of innocence". He feels we all, to some extent, lead desperate lives, and no one escapes completely unscathed.
More and more is expected from our children and at increasingly younger ages. Hiding them from what the real world is and what it will expect from them does not do them any good.
I am not saying we need to inform them of the atrocities of war or include them in our money woes, but allowing them to experience a full rainbow of feelings, and letting them know that all these feelings are valid, expected, and OK can only help them.
Here is a list of books that lets kids be fierce, sad, angry, curious, and bad, and show them they are not alone.
Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak--http://www.amazon.com/Where-Wild-Things-Maurice-Sendak/dp/0064431789/ref=cm_cr_pr_product_top
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone by J.K. Rowling--http://www.amazon.com/Harry-Potter-Sorcerers-Stone-Book-ebook/dp/B00728DYRO/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1425751626&sr=1-1&keywords=harry+potter+and+the+sorcerer%27s+stone
Diary of a Wimpy Kid by Jeff Kinney--http://www.amazon.com/Diary-Wimpy-Kid-Book-ebook/dp/B005CRQ4OW/ref=sr_1_2?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1425751772&sr=1-2&keywords=diary+of+a+wimpy+kid
Coraline by Neil Gaiman--http://www.amazon.com/Coraline-Neil-Gaiman/dp/0380977788/ref=tmm_hrd_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&sr=&qid=