LOL: Oh, I’m so embarrassed!
A mom apologized to me recently for the way her children were behaving while we visited together the other day. Even as I stood there chatting with her, I knew of the internal angst she might be feeling. I have been in her shoes so many times! It seems that whenever a mother answers a phone call or begins visiting with another woman, the children have an internal honing signal that flashes on, and instantly they are at her side, vying for attention.
I told her to please not worry about it. How well I could relate!
This morning I was thinking about how sometimes when people see a child in a certain setting acting well-behaved, they cannot imagine them acting any worse–as if they were somehow immune to the normalities of life and developmentally-typical behavior.
So not true.
I thought it’d be fun to make a list of the behaviors we’ve dealt with in our home that are on the more unsavory side of raising such amazing children:
- speaking unkindly
- tantrums and major meltdowns
- out-of-control anger
- slamming doors
- messy rooms
- opened jars of food in drawers and snack/treat wrappers in all kinds of places
- “I HATE YOU, MOM!”
- more negativity
- breaking things
- ignoring chores or homework
- ruining furniture
- putting holes in walls
- coming home after curfew
- taking off without letting Mom know where, (including sneaking out) etc.
That gives you an idea.
And then there have been other little (or big) challenges, such as:
- refusing to get up or go to bed, school, music lessons, sports, church, birthday parties–you name it
- forgetting lunch, homework or P.E. clothes, etc., at home
- bedwetting or clothes wetting/soiling
- backwards letter writing (when learning to write)
- not wanting to learn to read
- procrastinating homework
- faking being sick
- haircutting (like cutting off their bangs when they are 2)
- running outside naked (thankfully only little children)
- pulling off diapers when they are in their crib
- yelling in church
- months and months into years and years of a continual flow of illnesses, one child to the next (colds, flus, childhood diseases, etc.) (I even had the city come check our water one year just because I was so at my wits’ end with common illnesses!)
Looking back, I am grateful for all of the little things (and bigger issues) that we’ve dealt with so far, because they are just so normal. It helps me relate to other parents and children, and I can say to someone, “Don’t worry about it!” with far more empathy than I ever could when I was unmarried and said I’d never have a child with a nose running out of control in the grocery store line.
Now I can laugh with other people as we swap stories and share understanding. I love that!
Here’s something else I love: seeing how far children can come! They learn to overcome the behaviors that come (to most of us) naturally. I watch in awe at how much they learn and improve, even when I am not always the best model for what they need to learn.
Way to go, guys! You are amazing!
Now if they would just flush the toilet…
Happy Breathing a Sigh of Relief,