Sunday, 15 June 2014

Dear parents

I may not be a parent but I am someone's child and I don't understand why parents think they or their kids are failing when they don't live up to certain expectations. You know what they are doing; being themselves! And they certainly don't have to live up to outsiders' expectations; every child learns and develops at their own rate. They are not necessarily going to like the same food as you or even a big range of food, especially early on. Taste and texture can be huge obstacles to overcome; try asking your child what they don't like about something. They are not necessary going to like anything just because you do. Their behaviour isn't naughty simply because it doesn't meet expectations of how someone should behave. Maybe they have a neurological condition that means they see the world differently, (Asperger’s Syndrome, Autism, ADHD) which a doctor could help identify. But regardless of anything else that may be going on they are simply being their unique, individual selves; something that should be encouraged. There is a difference between following the rules and a developing personality, please don't mistake the two to the detriment of your child's ability to be themselves. You need to teach them to think, not what to think. Just because they aren't a clone of you doesn't automatically make them fussy, naughty, stubborn or any of the other negative labels people place on children. What we have come to call stubborn is really someone wanting to do things the way they feel comfortable doing them. That is not automatically wrong, it's just different. You may not always understand their way of thinking or doing things, but they are not always going to understand yours either, it’s about compromise and seeing things from everyone’s point of view. Learn to read your child and understand their needs, encourage their way of learning, doing, being instead of thinking you or they are a failure, because as parents you are the people who will instil them with confidence, self-love and the ability to be a functioning individual who can think for themselves. Don't take that away from them by expecting them to be what you want to see or think they should be. If they can't trust you to accept them for who they are, who can they trust? It may not be easy, but it's not meant to be. If it were meant to be easy we wouldn't be raising individuals but clones. You have created a brand new person and you have to learn who they are right along with them. All you can do is give them boundaries, teach them actions have consequences and love, provide and be there for them; everything else is all them, you can't change who they are and why would you want to… 

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