Elizabeth Thorp: The other morning, I was driving the girls to camp and rocking out to Lady Gaga on the radio. Life was good -- we had no major meltdowns that morning, lunches were packed, we were on time, and the girls weren't fighting in the backseat. I was feeling quite smug. All of a sudden, Isabelle, our six-year-old, asked me, "Mommy, what IS a disco stick?" Lucy, our five-year-old, turned it up a notch and whined, "Why can't we ride the disco stick?? You NEVER let us do anything!"
I spit up my Starbucks, tried desperately not to laugh, and tried to think of an appropriate response. After a few moments, I told the girls that "Disco Stick" is a grown-up game that sometimes was boring (sorry, honey, I'm referring to the times when moms are sooo exhausted that sleep trumps everything, even a hot hubby) ... that it was much more fun to play dress-up, mommy and baby, or dance to "High School Musical." Before they hit me with follow-up questions, I threw out a major distraction: "Does anyone want to watch 'Mamma Mia' and have family movie night tonight??" Squeals of excitement and enthusiastic endorsements of mommy ensued. Phew!
These tough and uncensored questions from kids happen to all parents periodically. What is the best way to answer these questions, and what if it happens in public? Is it okay to fib?
Michelle Golland, a momlogic expert and clinical psychologist, summarized her thoughts by offering a Joseph Campbell quote: "I don't believe people are looking for the meaning of life as much as they are looking for the experience of being alive." The bottom line is, as a mom, you know what the best answers are, whatever works for you as a family and is age-appropriate for your children. Then write it down for their rehearsal dinner toast!
One practical lesson I have learned from the Lady Gaga Disco Stick kerfuffle is keep to soft rock stations, or better yet, pop in a Justin Roberts CD, our favorite children's pop music without the phallic references, thank you very much!
|Elizabeth Thorp serves as President & CEO of EDT Communications, Inc. Elizabeth's 17 years of experience spans almost every area of public relations, crisis management, event planning and public affairs -- although no amount of training can prepare you for crisis management in a happily hectic household with three young divas. She lives in the Washington, DC area with her husband and three young daughters, Isabelle, Lucy and Penelope. www.edtcommunications.net|