As parents, we want our kids to be happy and confident -- with good self esteem. At the same time, we don't want our kids to be too or unrealistically full of themselves, like those poor deluded contestants on American Idol who think they are the next American Idol because their parents (falsely) told them they were great.
I had always thought the spouse and I did a pretty good job of parenting, or of making our daughter feel safe and loved. We encouraged her to pursue the things she loved (writing, drawing, Photoshop, cooking) and gave praise only when it was deserved. We also constantly told her to believe in herself, to be proud of who she was, and to not focus on or worry about what other people said or thought about her -- and that with hard work and perseverance she could be (almost) anything she wanted to be.
And while our daughter knows she will not be the next American Idol (okay, I'll admit it, I'm a little preoccupied with American Idol right now -- new AI blog posts to start end of this month!), nor a great athlete, after seeing her current email signature (pasted below), I'm wondering if maybe we went a bit too far with this whole be-proud-of-who-you-are-you can-do-(almost)-anything-you-set-your-mind-to stuff.
WARNING: You have just read an email from an evil genius. Reply with caution.Nah.
When you get lemons, normal people make lemonade. I run around screaming with a pasta strainer on my head and demand chocolate.
I am me. You don't like it? Too bad. You're stuck with it.
I'm 40% Martian, 40% Plutonian, and 20% Saturnian. Now you understand why 100% of humanity is afraid of me.
You call me crazy, abnormal, nuts, insane, extraterrestrial, annoying, weird, strange, cuckoo, bonkers, wacky, bizarre, odd, ridiculous, peculiar, unusual, queer, atypical, and outlandish...yeah, we've already established this.
One day, I will be RULER OF THE ENTIRE WORLD! Common, don't deny it.
Cook, artist, singer, actress, writer, clarinetist, drama queen, book worm, Gleek, animal lover, enthusiast, proud abnormal, journalist, genius, music lover, chocoholic....
From the awesomest person ever to cross the face of the earth...
[FYI, before I wrote this post, I asked the future ruler of the entire world if it was OK to do so. She gave me her permission. And if she changes her mind, or I do, I'll take it down.]