Levelheaded Parenting Advice

I was out-parented twice in one evening by my little girl, and her advice that evening has actually helped me be a much better mom (i think).  Here’s what happened:

We had a big long day full of playing and friends and s’mores and adventures.  It turned into a late tired night, and bedtime was a disastrous meltdown.  Huge tears and tantrums sprang up everywhere.

First lesson:  “Stella,” I said, “you are just so so tired.”  To this she cried through her tears “I know, and you should have been paying attention to make sure it didn’t get too late and be too much of a day for me!  That’s your job!”

Oops, that is my job, and I was focused on having fun instead of managing the day so that my kids have the peace and energy to have happy days.

Second lesson: I was tired and getting very frustrated with all of the wailing and hysteria as we limped towards bed.  I asked Stella to get herself into her pajamas, and she said no, she wanted me to do it.  Grrr.  “Stella,” I rudely chastised, “you are almost 5, and 5 year olds get themselves dressed!”  She replies “Mama, if you had another daughter who was almost 5 she would be different than me and you don’t know what she would be like, some 5 year olds are different than others.”

Right?  Now I just feel a little, ahem, childish.  And trying to remember to appreciate my kids for who they are instead of pushing and hurrying and bugging them.

Kids have so much to teach us if we have the humility to really listen.


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