Parenting Perspective: Ruffling the feathers

As a mother-hen, I am admittedly a little bias when it comes to my brood. My children tend to be the friendliest, smartest and undoubtedly have the most potential to become successful. However, the current Covid-status has revealed some less-than-beneficial traits that might have taken years for me to recognise.

A slow realization has crept over me as I began to notice the once cheerful and enthusiastic sunflower has now turned into a dreary mole, preferring late nights to early mornings and closed blinds to fresh air. All the above-mentioned extraordinary qualities seemingly disappeared along with the sound of the school bell and I am left with an uninterested, Tiktok-loving expert.

I suppose there comes a time when every mother-hen should withdraw the warmth of her wings and let the maturing hatchling feel the uncomfortable growing pains. At first it was really hard to disrupt this leisurely lifestyle, understanding the pleasure of this ‘unsupervised’ time. Nonetheless, how else would I teach this precious chicklet the importance of things like working hard and doing your bit without a teacher looking over your shoulder or any possibility of detention? About how the real road to success is motivating yourself into doing the things you don’t feel like doing in order to reap the result in the long run.

Off I went on my mission with ‘goal-setting’ template in hand. The initial polite response to my positive pep-talk quickly turned into 1-word responses like “yes / OK / what? / uh huh”, accompanied by annoyed body language and confused facial expressions. It seems I ruffled the feathers and it was not taken well. However, true to a mother’s nature, the situation was not left there. Ruffled feathers and all, we tackled the goals list together. The dreary mole was surprised to learn that one could actually have fun ‘working’ with Mom.

As the finally finished product lies on my desk, it is a silent reminder of just how much things have changed over the last couple of months. The next few steps are uncertain and the expectations unclear, but one thing is certain like many other mothers out there, I guess I will just have to continue to wing it.