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A power nap is always helpful when you have a lot of important work coming up.

 

 

 

Parents

Parents, grandparents and other supporting adults

Celebrate wonder and accomplishment.

 April 8, 2021


 Remember to recognize joy and excitement when it happens.  When a child takes their first step, the whole family is elated. They take pictures, send messages, praise the little one. But we sometimes don't recognize what is important to them that my seem incidental or mundane to us.  A scenario from two points of view and some alternatives:

            (Parent is in the kitchen cleaning floor, thinking about which bills to pay on a limited income)

             (The toddler has been outside playing in the sunshine, and makes a joyful discovery)

              Morgan (child),  "Mommy! Mommy! I can see pictures in my head"

              Mommy, "Everyone does that. Go play."

              Morgan wanders out the door perplexed and sad.

Alternative scenario 1

                Morgan, "Mommy! Mommy! I can see pictures in my head."

                 Mommy, "Yeah. Isn't that cool! I want to hear more about that at dinner time.  Right  now, I have to finish the floor."

Alternative scenario 2

                  Morgan," Mommy! Mommy !  I can see pictures in my head."

                 Mommy, "That's really cool. I cant remember when I first noticed that." Putting the mop in the bucket and sitting at the table, she asks Morgan to tell her all about it. 

The second scenario is probably the most realistic. Parents have a very tough job right now. It is especially difficult in a time of economic stress and general uncertainty. For many the trauma has been even greater. Celebrating even the small things can help us all. You may be helping yourself as well as your child.  

“Your children are not your children.

They are sons and daughters of Life's longing for itself.

They come through you but not from you.

And though they are with you yet they belong not to you.

You may give them your love but not your thoughts,

For they have their own thoughts.

You may house their bodies but not their souls,

For their souls dwell in the house of tomorrow, which you cannot visit, not even in your dreams.

You may strive to be like them, but seek not to make them like you.

For life goes not backward nor tarries with yesterday.

You are the bows from which your children as living arrows are sent forth.

The archer sees the make upon the path of the infinite, and He bends you with His might that His arrows may go swift and far.

Let your bending in the archer's hand be for gladness.

For even as He loves the arrow that flies, so He also loves the bow that is stable.”

― Kahlil Gibran

 As our children and grandchildren grow and establish some distance from us, they seem to have a full range of anguish, struggle and, yes, serendipity and joy. When they seem miserable or are in trouble, we might search our hearts, and wonder what mistakes we made, or what we might have done differently.


There is for many, a time in the middle of their lives when it is easy to blame parents for the difficulties they encounter.  It is probably part of examining life and ourselves more closely. No parents are perfect. I could be wrong about that. I do feel a little frightened by parents who believe they are. Far better to admit mistakes and come to peace as a family with that. It is true also that some very tragic things have happened in the lives of young children. Many of these things might be the consequence of parental behavior. Many are not. Some children are very resilient. The best parenting is open, honest and reliable. Love makes the difference.  

We are most fortunate if, as they move into full adulthood, they share these moments of joy with us, as well as their struggles and sorrow. 

 When children are very young they use what limited information they have to form a picture or idea that makes sense to them. When my granddaughter was just two years old her family was planning to fly from Vermont to Washington State to visit family.  They expected that she would be just as excited and happy as everyone. They told her about seeing her grandmothers and aunts and uncles. 

  As they days got closer to the time to depart, she became more trouble. "I'm walking!" she declared, holding her hands about her head. Her mother called my asking what I thought would help.  

  "Have you taught how to fly?" I inquired.

Meghan had watched the birds , and perhaps assumed that this is what the family would do .

I suggested that Mom get some library books about flying in an airplane. So the entire family was able to board the plane. 

  Meghan is twenty one now and travels comfortably.  As far as I know, none of her sibling have joined the birds in flight.

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