When are parents proud

Sleepless

Our daughter made the seahorse - in the middle of the Corona time. With a little effort we found a swimming school in the neighboring town. The parents had to stay outside because the Prussian hygiene concept was strictly adhered to, and that in Bavaria. But that's not even supposed to be the topic.

It was at the beginning of the last lesson. The swimming instructor called parents and children together. To the great surprise, our daughter and another child received a certificate and the seahorse. I was speechless. No, more than that, I was close to tears for sheer pride. Especially because our daughter hadn't said a single word about it beforehand, because she had to have taken the swimming test the week before. She had held tight to surprise us. I had to share my happiness with someone and then I did: In no time a photo was of the proud child with seahorses on the way to my wife. She was also flabbergasted and happy, as I read on the emojis in her answer.

After the swimming lesson we sat in the car. Me in front on the left, Tina in the back right. We heard music, probably it was “Supergirl” by Suli Puschban or something by Anna and Elsa. We bobbed and hummed along happily. Tina held her little orange seahorse badge in her hand the whole time. "You, papa?" She said suddenly. "Yes, what is it?" I asked with a look in the rearview mirror. “I want to tell mom myself that I made the seahorse. Okay? ”Silence. "Uh ... yes, okay." But it wasn't. Of course the child would like to tell that himself, I was annoyed. And of course, as a sincere father, I should have admitted immediately that, unfortunately, her mother already knew that, because I already told her about it on the cell phone, because I hadn't thought about it out of sheer joy and pride, damn it. But I didn't. Instead, I wrote a breakneck and highly illegal message to my wife while driving. “Tina would like to tell you about the seahorse herself. You don't know anything. "

A few minutes later we were home. Tina got out of the car, walked towards the front door and rang the doorbell. I got her swimwear out of the trunk when the door opened. Her brother hugged her with joy and shouted: “Tina, you have the seahorse! You can swim Great! ”All the joy was gone. The five-year-old turned around, looked at me in horror and complained: “Dad, I wanted to say that. Why did you already say it? ”Then she burst into tears. Traitor, I thought. Idiot, liar. I just wanted to ...

I tried to explain why I had sent the picture to her mother, but it was useless. The girl was angry and disappointed. She had probably imagined how happy her mom would be. Shortly afterwards my wife appeared. She said contrite: “Sorry, I just read your message. I was in a conference call. "

After this stupid experience, my wife and I put our behavior to the test. How do we get a grip on our “communicatoritis”? Because it wasn't the first time. Our son Theo had to find out several times that his mother already knew how many goals he had scored in a soccer match, even though she wasn't there. Papa had already sent a WhatsApp. We take away the children the opportunity to describe their own experiences and to experience real reactions to them. How important this is was made clear to me by my sister when I described the incident to her. She is a qualified pedagogue, works with children and has two sons of her own.

“Something like the seahorse is a small milestone for a child. As important as taking your first steps or riding a bike, ”she said. “You only experience these moments once in a lifetime. The children know that. They are proud. They say: 'I did it and I spread the word that I made it. "" If someone else blurts out your performance beforehand, it is "like a slap in the face".

It's such a thing with smartphones anyway, says my teacher sister and gives another example. Everyone knows this: one parent is at home, the other on the road. There's something going on with a child in trouble. To vent, you pick up your cell phone and share your frustration with your partner. Shared pain is half of the pain. For the child, however, this can mean double suffering. Because the conflict comes up twice: once with parent one and the second time when parent two comes home. “It means stress for the children,” my sister explains to me. “Put yourself in another position: with the mother, the matter is out of the world. But then the father comes home and the same topic comes up again. ”From the child's point of view, smartphones are simply unfair. Because in contrast to the parents, the child has no way of sharing his frustration with someone.

My wife and I have now agreed to leave cell phones out of the game. The children decide whether we can share experiences with the other parent or whether they want to report themselves. In the event of a dispute, first of all the person who is directly involved is asked. If there is no solution, the other is brought in. So far it works. Long live the good old conversation.

This realization came too late for Tina's seahorses. The child and I were able to feel that clearly again after the swimming course: The next day I took her to daycare. She was full of anticipation. She was about to tell her friends and teachers the news. A reception committee consisting of three peers and an educator was already waiting at the entrance. "I can swim, I have the seahorse!" Shouted Tina proudly. Her friend Sarah immediately replied: “Oh yes, mom already told me that. She showed me a photo of you. “Whomp, the next slap in the face. "Father! You shouldn't do that… ”Huge children's eyes full of grief and tears and again that feeling of failure in me. My wife had put the picture in her WhatsApp status.

Keywords: secret, cell phone, cell phone use, communication, slap in the face, victim, swimming lessons, seahorses, smartphone, social media, responsibility
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Restraint instead of parental pride

From Matthias Heinrich

Some parents have a strong need to communicate and rave about their children's milestones online. That can rob the little ones of all their joy.

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