Jun 12, 2005


It is so hard to be a parent sometimes. I think I'm a pretty patient person, but there are times when I want to throw something. It makes me feel really bad to feel that way, though, because I know that a three year old is learning limits and testing them only because they are trying to find security in the world. To spoil a three year old is to not set any limits, or to set limits that are looser than you think are wise because you're afraid of saying no.

Being kind about limits and patient when they test them, and trying hard to remember and understand that they're not defying you personally, they're just trying to make sense of the world, is the only way to be happy as a parent. Also, it's the only way to create a good relationship with a child, I think, because they can sense when we're upset at them.

The worst times are when a child is attention seeking in a negative way. Like, they smile as you pick them up and put them in their room because it's what they wanted- attention. That just irks me so much. SIgh. I guess the best thing to do when they're trying to do that is to remove attention from them. Which is the point of putting them in their room.
Plus, giving them plenty of positive attention staves off a need for negative attention, I think.

Three year olds have such a hard life... can you imagine how scary and confusing the world must be sometimes for them? I remember being a child and feeling like I got in trouble for things I didn't mean to do, and for reasons I couldn't understand or prevent. I think all kids go through that... their actions are motivated by things that are hard for adults to understand... learning about the world in which they live. Which we have pretty much stopped actively trying to do ourselves.

Perhaps we should follow in our childrens' footsteps in that way. How wonderful to have a mind completely open to the world around us and no fear of hurt, no suspicion of those around us.

To expect our children to follow in our footsteps at an adult pace is to expect the impossible, and to frustrate and alienate the ones we love the most and want to hurt the least.

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