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My daughter went to her first ballet summer study last year at the age of 11. She was gone for two weeks. At first, I was excited for her. But, when the time approached I worried about her and how she would fare being away for the first time. Many doubts filled my mind and I realized I would have to cram many life lessons in a short amount of time.
At that time, I am embarrassed to say that our self-care routines were somewhat loose and that I did little to teach my daughter the independence to perform tasks which she would need to do on her own. And to be honest, I continue have the same concerns plus some. She will be going away again for another two weeks. Some of my worries include:
- Her hair: My daughter reluctantly brushes her hair and rarely does this without reminders. And, her hair tangles easily because it is long and fine. She couldn’t make a ponytail last year independently and she still can’t despite my trying to teach her on multiple occasions. Last year she relied on others to style her hair and I’m afraid she will have to do the same this year. Last year we cut off several inches to make the brushing easier and we will do the same again.
- Drinking enough water: I worry that she won’t drink enough water because I won’t be there to tell her to do that. She will be dancing all day. I don’t know if she will bring her water bottle with her or if she will be able to keep track of her bottle. I wonder if I should send fourteen of them…one for each day in case she loses them.
- Anxiety: My daughter suffers from anxiety.She worries about getting sick and I wonder if she will worry about it the whole time she is there. I worry that she won’t sleep and that she will drive her roommate crazy by wanting to have the light on. I worry that….Hmmmm. I wonder where she gets her anxiety.
- Losing things: I already mentioned the water bottles. But, I wonder how many items she will lose this year. Last year she lost a couple of leotards and some towels. How many duplicates do I need to send with her? She is the queen of the lost and found at her dance studio. The last time she checked it she had eight pairs of pants and a few shoes in there.
- Keeping her place tidy: Will she clean up after herself? Will she know or remember that she needs to hang her wet towels and washrags up? Will she put her clothes away? Will she realize that one side of the room is hers and the other side is for her roommate? Last year I was in the general area and was able to clean up after her, but this year I won’t be as easily accessible.
- Cleaning her face after meals. My daughter never remembers to wipe her face after eating. She is one of those kids who leaves evidence of everything she eats all over her face. When I asked her why she never remembers to wipe her face, she says “I’m not trying to be fashionable and I don’t care if there is food on my face.”
Mostly, I worry that all my parenting flaws will come to light. Everyone will think I didn’t try to teach my kid any independence. I have a couple weeks to redeem myself so I better get to work!