Halloween: listen or lose it

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Halloween has become the time of the year when the witches remind me to listen to my kids and try to understand who they are. 

I was raised in Ecuador by a lovely mom whose personality is always positively changing with the times. But when I was a child, parenting was more about following the rules, than listening to the individual needs of the children.

I have made it a point to try to see my kids for who they are and listen to their needs, but I guess sometimes I’ve forgotten to do so.

A couple of weeks before Halloween, my 10-year-old daughter, declared that she wanted to dress up as a pirate for Halloween. I like to help her fabricate her own costumes, sometimes very successfully(like when she was Pippi Longstockings) and sometimes not so much….

A week before Hallo020ween, at my neighbor’s garage sale, my daughter found a blonde wig, a little long performer dress and a white fake boa scarf. She loves to dress up, so she put it all on immediately and made several poses for the camera. I told her she looked fabulous and that maybe she could use it for Halloween. She agreed and we bought the costume.

During Halloween morning at the school parade, after wearing the attire for a bit it, she said it itched and took it off.  She told me then that she really wanted to be a pirate that eve. She said that since I loved so much how she looked with the wig costume,  she had wanted to please me by wearing it. I was about to get annoyed about having to fabricate a new costume that afternoon, when I remembered a Halloween parade years before when I failed at my goal of listening to my kids. So,  I told her I would help her make a good pirate custom for that afternoon and we came up with something.

Years before, at a Halloween parade at her preschool, my then 4-year-old daughter, dressed up as Dorothy. Parents were asked to dress up, so I thought I could dress up as a scare crow. When I told her about my intention to dress up as a scarecrow to her, first she it would be great and then said it may be scary. I later on wore the costume anyways (bad mama) thinking she would not be scared if she knew before hand it was me. When I went to the school (I had dropped Dorothy off earlier), I first went to say hi without my face scare crow make up. She seemed to be fine with the costume. But, when she saw me fully dressed she had a fit. I had to go to the bathroom and get changed before she would go in the parade.032

That incident told me a lesson, to listen to her when she says no and to hear my kid’s needs   and understand where they are coming from.  It doesn’t mean they don’t have to obey to the many rules I do set for them.  But it means that when it comes to their personal life, like their Halloween or their passions, careers, loves, I have to listen to what they choose.

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