Kids are so darn smart, be a smart Parent
The mother of one of my favorite three year olds told me this story. She, her husband, and three year old Sarah were emerging from a pizza parlor. Sarah was screaming. “You know, just practicing the sound,” her mama told me, as in – open mouth and expel loud noise.
“I told her she should stop because people were looking to see what was wrong, and it was better to save screaming like that for an emergency. We got into the car and headed home. On the way, we passed an electric utility truck. Joel and I were idly speculating about what was up. Joel pointed out that it was an emergency truck. From the back seat, Sarah says, “So can I scream now Mom?”
Smart isn’t she? See how she puts together the data she’s been given? Little brains are sponges; they are acquiring info at a blinding rate. They say insightful, funny, poignant things. This does NOT make them adults. They still need parents to teach them at their level, not ours. Parents don’t spring into being already knowing what that means. I have squirreled away many a brilliant and helpful bit of information from the books and experts I consulted about child rearing. Raising my own unique, surprising, challenging children forced my husband and me to face the fact that intelligence does not equal maturity. Nothing makes a brain grow faster. You have to stick to raising a child at the child’s rate. What I want to help you all with is finding your process for giving your children values, stories, community, security, belonging and identity. One that fits each of your children. This is not an easy thing because children have a knack for being individuals. But that is the job and the great joy of parenting.