I've been thinking so much about yesterday's post, and remembered that I wanted to share this brilliant essay by Dawn Hallman, M.A., Executive Director of the Dallas Association for Parent Education. The site for the organization is www.dallasparents.org.
Her words struck me when I first read them more than a year ago. I keep this excerpt posted on my fridge to remind myself daily that if I am wildly frustrated with one of them, it's most likely because my expectations are skewed.
I hope you enjoy it as much as I have.
What I Wish I Had Known Before I Had Kids
(That I Know Now)...
I wish I had known that
my children's behavior was
a language - that their actions
and words were telling me
something about what they were
feeling or thinking. I wish I'd
remembered that they did not
get up in the morning plotting
to do things to frustrate me.
I wish I'd known that meltdowns
and explosions usually
meant my kids were tired, or
hungry, or bored or frustrated
themselves. I wish I'd known
that they needed an adult to
help them find the words to
express what was troubling them.
But they sure didn't need
a frustrated adult.
I wish I'd known more
about child development, brain
development and behavior.
I wish I'd known that growing
up is a slow process. I wish I'd
known how each development
stage has its own way of seeing
the world. I wish I'd known
that most times they saw things
very differently from me.
I wish I'd listened more to
what was true about their hearts
and spirits and personalities
than worrying about what other
people thought of their behavior.