I was chatting with friends the other day, and we were swapping stories about all the crazy things our kids had been up to.
After laughing and commiserating with each other, one friend wondered if any of us could sum up all the things we know about kids and parenting in one sentence.
Once sentence? No way!
There was no way I could do that in once sentence… the closest I got was 23!
23 Truths about Kids and Parenting.
- Kids have a very unique sense of time, that often doesn’t match ours.
- Kids don’t think like adults, because they are not adults, they have not had our life experiences and their brains and bodies have not finished growing.
- Kids are self centred to some degree for a long time, that means they actually can’t see things from someone else’s point of view, not that they just don’t want to.
- Kids struggle with the need to be close to a parent but at the same time be their own person – this starts when they are little and just gets more intense as they get older, it’s the same struggle we parents have with wanting to keep them close and safe but also wanting to see them grow up and be independent.
- Kids need to do the same thing over and over to learn it
- Kids need to hear the same thing over and over for it to really sink in.
- Kids need to push against a firm limit over and over for them to learn where the boundary is.
- Kids can’t imagine the consequences of their actions until it’s done, even older kids (5-10 year olds) struggle with this, they are not doing crazy stuff just to drive you bonkers.
- Kids think odd things are funny – farts, the lady at the supermarket, really terrible TV shows.
- Kids need to feel connected – physically and emotionally.
- Kids need to be taught kindness and empathy.
- Kids need to experience things like respect, cooperation, kindness and love to really understand them and learn them.
- Kids change, a lot, and without warning. Just when you think you have a handle on something, it changes.
- Kids are contradictory and illogical quite often.
- Kids don’t want to clean up… I mean really, none of us want to clean up.
- Kids don’t like getting in trouble or being told what to do (do any of us like it when someone points out what we’ve done wrong or how we should have done something?), they are going to pout and maybe even get mad or upset, and that’s ok.
- Kids often get angry, upset or act out when they are feeling overwhelmed or out of control. We need to look for the cause not just the symptom.
- Kids will test a limit or try out things they know are not allowed just to see how it feels, we need to think about how we will react to that.
- Kids are funny… intentionally funny, and unintentionally funny… and just really funny.
- Kids will notice when you are feeling low and give love just when you need it, but they will also be totally oblivious to the fact that you are about to lose your mind and will continue to the poke the beast instead of backing away quietly.
- Kids will say the most embarrassing things at the worst possible times.
- Kids will make you say all kinds of things you never thought any human would ever have to say – “Don’t put your tongue in the plug hole” and “Your brother’s penis is not a toy” are two that come to mind.
- Kids will ground you and make you live in the moment, and they will also give you hope for a brighter future.
But funnily enough, after writing down these 23 things I know about kids and parenting I did manage to come up with one sentence that summed it all up:
Kids are weird… awesomely wonderfully weird.
Have you got any ‘truths’ to add to my list?
Or maybe you can sum them all up in just one sentence??