By Arthia Nixon
It’s Columbus Day and a day many consider a day of discovery. I discovered today that as parents, we have to be so careful of what we do because our kids watch us more than we think.
Raising a kid all alone can be a bit challenging. I’m a media mom balancing editorial duties for a major African-American newspaper, overseeing a magazine, coming up with strategies and press releases/campaigns for clients as publicist and doing broadcasting duties as a correspondent. I felt extremely guilty sitting at my desk this morning with my coffee and computer while my child and chihauhau played on the couches and crawled under my desk.
That’s when the phone rang and I took the call, hung up and noticed my daughter sitting down with a notepad in hand. I didn’t ask what she was doing. I just went over to take a peek. To my surprise, she had gotten one of my empty spiral notebooks and was sitting down writing a to-do list like mine. She had chores. She also had ‘read one of mom’s newspaper stories’ and few other things that I saw interesting. I couldn’t help but take a photo.
I asked to see the book and saw on another page where she wrote down a few celebrities names. Those, she explained, were people she wanted to interview. I asked her what she wanted to be. She said, “I want to be a talk show host, reporter and magazine writer because I can’t be a competitive gymnast after 20 because it’s just too old”. She added that she likes pageants but she’s already the shortest person in her class and all the real models are tall and skinny so she can’t do that when she’s older. Last night, she gave me an awesome debate as to why she needs her own laptop.
Now, the thing is this child anchors the morning news/announcements at her school where the most important thing she reported on, according to her, was the September 11th anniversary, the multiplication facts of the week and that they were serving teriyaki chicken in the cafeteria. Her catchphrase is “Have a good day – or not. The choice is yours!” I found out she had auditioned for this ‘gig’ after her gifted program teacher and I met in the store. I asked her why she was doing what I was doing and she said because it’s what she likes and because it’s easier to work together as a family than to start something on her own.
That showed me that we don’t have to tell our children how to be like us. They are influenced by what we do and how we act. They will be who they are but as an extension of what we expose them to.
She already helps with filing and when I have her as an assistant when my cameraman fails, people get a kick out of her ‘directing’ the scene when she gives cues and when she’s backstage with teen celebrities she hangs goes in for the questions I tend to stay away from. She also writes. I mean WRITES very well. So well that I’ve included a column in my magazine and agreed to let her have a blog. Did I mention she’s only 8 years old?
So that being said, I want to encourage everyone to be aware of what you do when you think your kids aren’t looking. Better yet, give them something to watch and encourage them to discover who they are. You might discover a part of your own self.