One of the hardest things I have to do sometimes is get my kid out of a store. It doesn’t matter the store she’s in; I just know that when we enter in, there will be a struggle to leave unless she initiates the exit. Why is it so hard to get her out of the store you ask? It’s because she’s four and thinks that she owns everything. Even when we go down the street, she points at different buildings she knows and say, “Look momma, it’s my hospital!” or “Look momma, that’s my school!” Everything just happens to be hers including her self-esteem and her self-worth. As hard as getting her out of a store is, what’s even harder is helping her understand that just because her request was unfulfilled does not mean it’s tied to her self-worth. She’s priceless and it’s my job to teach her that very fact.
Sometimes she takes it hard and winds up causing a scene in the store. The weird, odd looks of those passing by are, in part, amazed by the kid’s ability to put on a show so loudly and, in part, curious to see what happens next or who wins the great standoff of the store. Either way, I lose. Loss of temper, patience or just plain will – there is something lost there by me. What I don’t want to lose is my influence when it comes to her understanding that love is worth more than the latest Doc McStuffins toy or the cutest trend in fashion. But as a potential narcissist (my husband is a self-proclaimed one and it is truly a like daddy/like daughter situation), she must realize that there is a difference between self-love/self-care and narcissism, and it’s my job to teach her. On the other hand, she has to learn to love and care for herself without those items. Basically, no matter how it’s sliced, it’s a thin line between self-love and narcissism and getting a four year old to understand it while in the middle of a toy aisle at Wal-Mart is nearly impossible.
Until next time you can catch me on the couch with my wine glass, contemplating ways to make going to the store far less of a dramatic scene than our latest shopping adventure.