Have you ever tried to explain to a 3 and 4 year old that everything you do is for “their own good”? Yeah the good old mom line. I did that yesterday. I kid you not; I totally pulled that on my toddlers. What’s even strangers is that I think they understood it. I said something like, “My job is to take care of this family and sometimes that means stopping you from doing things you want to do because I know that thing can hurt you even though you may enjoy it.” One of them responded with, “Yes, just like when you tell us not to jump on the bed because it can break and we will fall and get hurt and we won’t have any place to sleep either. But sometimes we still keep doing it so you have to stop us angrily.” That makes my anger and yelling look real good, doesn’t it?
You would think I’m exaggerating the level of understanding my children have, but I’m not. I wish I had taught of this example myself. I realized that there is so many things we can make them understand that we never bother to because we think they are too young to comprehend. The only thing they’re too young for is putting words to what’s in their heads. We just need to help them with that. Once that starts to happen I think it will be easy to figure out what is the extent of their comprehension, which is definitely beyond what we as parents usually expect.
The interesting thing is on the one hand we brag about our children to whomever that would listen. On the hand we under estimate their abilities almost every step of the way. Why we do that is really beyond MY understanding.
There are many things as the caretaker of the household that I have to do that my children don’t understand. This was becoming a constant cause of tension between us, specially as they get older. I didn’t know how to make them understand every step of the way. They had so many questions, some I can answer for them but some things they just have to trust me with. I wasn’t sure how to handle that. So one day I had this conversation with them.
This is not the end of it, not by a long shot. I have to keep talking about it and keep reminding them that this is the reason I do certain things and ask them to do certain things they don’t understand or don’t like. They still complain and give me a hard time but they now fight me less and are less frustrated.
Which obviously means I’m less frustrated and screaming way less.
I would definitely encourage sitting down and having this talk with your children no matter how young they are. This is not a one-time conversation but it is definitely helpful.
Talk to our children. Who would have thought, right?