No amount of parenting, reading, prayer, documentaries or research will prepare you for the day you catch your four year old twerking.
I sometimes tell people I have two sets of kids. I have my two older daughters who I lovingly refer to as my “oldies” and my youngest daughter and baby son– my “littles”.
My oldies are fairly self-sufficient. They have entered the dreaded teenage realm and for the most part, I act simply as a guide in their life. They know more about current events than I do most days and teach me a lot about the “cool kid” culture.
Unfortunately, this also includes teaching my littles some undesirable behaviors, words, and songs. These include, but are not limited to typical selfie faces, “be gone thots”, Lizzo and her amazingly diverse vocabulary, and more dance moves than I care to list, which I doubt I could pull off even if I wanted to(which I don’t!)
So, when my sweet, innocent baby girl bent over in her sister’s direction and said, “Look! I’m twerking!” I did what any sophisticated, mature adult would do.
What else can you do?! The damage has been done! I have found in my almost 14 years experience as a Mama that if you don’t laugh, you’ll cry, and I have too many kids and too many years of parenting ahead of me to not have a sense of humor. You can’t take this kind of stuff too seriously.
I should add that I did have a discussion with her afterwards that I didn’t like that style of dance and that she was too young to show moves like that. It was the same conversation we have had when she explicitly sings the correct verses from a Billie Eilish song. I might add that I am impressed by her listening skills, or when she repeats a phrase her older sisters taught her without realizing it’s inappropriate context. I always explain to her why we don’t approve of a certain behavior, but I won’t lie… I usually laugh first.
Parenting is hard stuff, people.
I’m usually proud of myself if we can get through the day with minimal tears and only a few physical scrapes. Keeping these kids fed, healthy, entertained and educated (and off the kitchen counters) is at least one full time job, maybe more. Sometimes I don’t get to speak to a grown up for days on end! I don’t take sick days and I don’t get vacation accrual. So, sometimes they rub off on me a little and I laugh at the silliness of life.
I know I’m risking furthering the behavior I don’t wish to see. I’m also risking them taking after me and laughing off the little things that bring other people down. That for me makes it worth the risk.
Life is too short not to laugh.
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