Three amazing teenagers. How did that happen?!? Parenting tips from the pleasantly surprised.

Sunday, July 23, 2017

Learning the Language of Life

A friend of mine who blogs about her ‘sitcom life’ recently posted a story about her seven-year-old son.
One day, the boy blurted out a comment, thinking out loud. “When I grow up and have kids, I'm not going to teach them the entire English language.
Smiling to herself, his Mum asked him to explain.
“I'm not teaching them words like ‘But I don't want to...’ and ‘Why do I have to...’ That way they won't argue with me.”
His Mum nodded and kept listening.
“I'll just teach them positive words that help them obey without fuss.
Keeping a straight face, His Mum tried not to give away the thousand-and-one questions racing through her mind.
After a pause, the grade-one-boy asked, “Don't you think that's an excellent idea?”
“Yes. Definitely!” His Mum said, “And what are you going to do when they learn how to put their own words into phrases and they argue anyway?”
In the conversation below the post, one parent said she tried this very thing. It worked until the baby was 22 months old. I can imagine that was the first time the toddler said, “No!”
Our children learn from watching us. They will learn all the words and phrases we use. So, rather than using a limited vocabulary – we choose our words carefully. This leads to children who pause to consider their words – Just like Mum and Dad do.
And when things don’t work out that way, and we say something we wish we hadn’t, our children learn to admit they did the wrong thing and say they are sorry for hurting others.
Parenting is learned on the job. It is hard work. There are rough patches and painful moments. And at times, like in the above conversation, parenting is rewarding as we realise our children are processing the tough decisions - right from wrong, kind from hurtful – and deciding who they want to be in the future.