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1 Sept 2016

Growing Pains

I'm a fairly open and voiced person. I have no issue telling people not to feed my child things or not to touch his hair. I don't think we should feel unable to speak up on their behalf, be it for their best interest or the way we've chosen to bring them up. The very same thing goes for when someone else is trying to discipline them.

Now that we've got a toddler on hand, this has become a relevant thing. Don't do this, go do that. Of course there are circumstances where one's simply looking out for a child's well being. But there's also many times, people discipline children that aren't theirs for things the parents might otherwise not. This has been happening to us more frequently and while my husband struggles to find a polite way to correct the adult, I waste no time jumping in and telling them or my son what he can and cannot do. It got me thinking even further in what we punish or get children "in trouble" for.

Not wanting to eat. Grumpy attitudes. Whiney tired behaviour. Negative moods. Less than pleasant tones. All reactions that often come from having a bad day, all things we tend to see children getting reprimanded for. But why? We as adults have them all the time. A big difference between the functioning of a mind in childhood and that in adulthood in the understanding and processing of thoughts or feelings. We entirely understand when and maybe even why we are tired, under the weather, having a bad day, etc. Yet we still act out as a result of it. Children, who don't have that yet, cannot see reason behind why they're feeling how they are and therefore acting naturally, instinctively. 

We are not perfect, despite all the knowledge and experience we've obtained in our many years of living. So, over coffee, I explained to my husband that we (us as parents personally and we the collective of humans working with or raising other humans) must stop holding children to a higher standard or expectation, or perfection, and of control than we could ever even attain ourselves.

Entering this adventure of toddler-hood, I've been making a conscious effort to let and make sure others let, our son grow through trial and error, through cause and effect, through whatever natural phases of development all toddlers go through. It isn't always fun - the go bat sh*t crazy before falling asleep, instead of just laying down when you're tired is really charming - but it's so crucial that we are remembering to let kids be just that, kids. 

As usual, I welcome any feedback, opinion, or personal experience submissions.
Family outfits are by Gap, Zara, and Converse.

"Be patient with your littles for they are only beginners."
- Unknown.

XO, Olivia Murray.

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