Are you constantly worried about screwing up your kids?
Do you feel the pressure for your children to be perfect because it will mean you did a good job?
Do you feel shame when your children do things wrong that leave you thinking OMG!!!!!
Who are these people????
It is a tough lesson that ALL parents need to come to terms with, our children are people too!
They are not mini me versions of us, even if they look like it and have some of the same characteristics.
They are imperfect…just like every other human being on the planet, only they have an excuse.
They have ‘L Plates” on, they have been on this earth, 2,3,4…13 years?? They have a very limited life experience to draw from, unlike us, the adults in this relationship.
Our children, at different ages are experiencing different levels of development. Under 4 years, children are operating from an emotional space, they feel something so they react, the thinking part of their brain hasn’t kicked into full gear yet.
I had a friend (before she had kids) who was horrified that another friend’s child was hanging off her cupboard doors ask me about it. She said your girls would never have done that..would they?
Now I could have left her under the delusion that my kids are perfect..hence I am the perfect mother BUT that would have been doing all of us, including the offending 2 year old a dis service.
So I asked how old the child was, when she told me the child was two, I laughed and said OMG, yes they would and did. Now of course, I would have told them not to and taken them away from the door, but a 2 year old has not developed the cognitive capacity to think through,
“Now if I swing on these doors, what is the likely consequence for the hinges? Will it damage anything in any way, will it loosen the hinges thus creating a situation where the door will drop and possibly break?”
NO…a 2 year old is thinking “Wheeeeeeee I love swinging” They are not being naughty, they are exploring their world from their developmental space.
To quote Brene Brown, now this stage is neither good nor bad, it just is! Welcome to 2 or 3!
It is a time of big emotions and ego, me mine, I do it! Embrace it, it doesn’t make you a bad parent, it means your children are growing and developing normally.
Our children are here to find their own path, their own way of being in the world.
Our job as parents is to guide them in the best possible way, demonstrating values that are important to us, providing boundaries to keep them safe and allowing them the freedoms to discover who they are, imperfect, like the rest of us.