Exceeding Expectations-Lesson From a Hectic Toddler

There is no secret that children, especially boys, can be very energetic and active, rough, impulsive or even aggressive. What makes me assume this, besides my +10 years teaching experience? Well, I’ve made one of those kids!

He knocks down his sand castles as soon as he finishes building them. Same with blocks. Scribbles over his pictures, bumps into other children … you get the idea.

So, you understand why, when we got to this beautiful place where there was an artistic rock juxtaposition, my first impulse was to tell my 3 year old to be careful not to collapse it.

Instead, I bit my tongue and I waited for his reaction. I didn’t even show the rocks to him! I just waited to see what happens.

After a little running around, his eyes grew bigger with amazement: “Mama, check out this sculpture!”

I was already warning him in my head, but again, I waited.

“What about I add to it and make it even more awesome? What do you think of my idea?” he added proudly.

“I think it’s a great idea!”, I said and I did not interfered at all. I just observed him quietly and snapped a couple of pictures.

When he realised it was difficult to balance rocks on top of other rocks, he decided to build another structure next to it.

The sculpture remained intact. Not one pebble collapsed! And this was a great experience for my son and a very important lesson for me.

I had to learn, again, not to assume my child is going to be at his worst. When I do so, he picks up on my tension and that exacerbates his behaviour. Projecting my fears often causes my child to internalise what I think and expect of him and act accordingly.

Thank you, baby, for proving that listening to you and following your lead is the most wonderful experience and the best lesson that we can teach each other.

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