Though I obviously no longer have a young child, I am almost obsessed with watching interactions between children and their parents. I take note that so many parents yell at or “discipline” their child because the child is annoying them, or interrupting their texting, or expressing their natural curiosity when it is inconvenient for the parent to take advantage of that teaching moment, just as a few examples.
Last weekend when we were at a child’s birthday party the father of a little 2YO took something from his son that the boy had found but shouldn’t have. The little guy started to cry and throw a little fit, and dad looked at him and acknowledged his frustration and then assured him that all would be well, and ended it right there by returning to his seat. “I know, but you’ll get over it” very calmly. And the toddler went back to doing other things. “I know” – dad gets it and understands. “You’ll get over it” – it’s not the end of the world…you’ll feel better again shortly. Walking away but being nearby – you can handle it, son, and if not, I’m right here.
I was SO off the mark many times when I was raising my daughter. First of all, I’d never wanted or planned to have children. I will have to share sometime what changed my mind, but once I fell in love with that little baby I wanted to do all the right things. And I failed, more often that other mothers I believe; I never trained for this, never considered it, never observed, didn’t have natural instincts… Anyway, I wish I had read the 3 paragraphs I’m about share with you back then. The perspective is absolutely wonderful! Yelling or smacking or whatever without using that teaching moment is damaging and isn’t “raising” a child. Oh how I wish I’d known…
These 3 paragraphs can be found HERE. And the 30 seconds it takes to read them will hopefully be as enlightening to other parents as they would have been to me! I hope you can take a few minutes and see if it gives you a new perspective of parenting too!