October 11, 2011
Posted in: Performance
We, as first time parents, and quite possibly you and your organization, oftentimes freak out way too much and way too easily, it’s our job, or so we think.
A perfect example of this is when our oldest was a just a few years old. We were on a road trip when he began to buckle over in what seemed excruciating agony. Was something really wrong, maybe his appendix, is he dying? We didn’t know, but, then again, we had never been in the kind of situation before. Fast forward, after anxious moments on the way to the ER and a $1,000 medical bill, all that was needed for relief of his intense situation was simple flatulence. His major intestinal attack was just gas. We know now what we needed to know then. As we get down the road a little bit further, we know that little kids who use the letter “f” instead of “t” in the word “truck” at 18 months are not bad, nor are their parents. But we sure do feel that way. Our kid peeing in the front yard of the church at three years old didn’t mean that he was destined to be a criminal- he was a three year old kid. But at the time, we are left alone to process whether or not our child is turning out OK, or not OK. Now, when our youngest falls off the monkey bars at school we bring him home and ice the elbow instead of rushing him to the ER. If one kid is having trouble with school, the school wants to rush to over-diagnose, but the reality is she’s just having a moment, something that will pass. Allowing her to come home for the morning may do the trick – we told her whenever, she wanted to come home, she could. It took about a week and she regained altitude. Relieved knowing that there was understanding and patience afforded her. In my view, kids are way too busy. Kids are stressing about acceptance, plus they’re just plain tired. Today’s culture looks for symptoms and this culture loves to over-diagnose, “he’s depressed”, “she’s got ADD. Truth is, we all have moments, crappy moments, anger moments. I have plenty of ADD moments, peeing-in-the-church-yard moments, saying the wrong thing and the wrong time moments. More often the solution is to ride it out more than rush in.
As a very young child, our son was slow growing, he was short for his age and especially for his class which was filled with kids that were offspring from giants, or so it seemed. Our encouragement to him was to hang on, to wait, he is not done growing, I told him he is an oak tree, slow growing, but incredibly strong and built to withstand the strongest winds and storms of life. Guess what? He’s still not super tall, he’s normal, he’s creative, and easily intrigued with all that life has to offer. Kids in his school are diagnosed with ADD or ADHD and I think that sucks – they and their teachers now brand them with a diagnosis instead of just a normal kid, who reads things the in a different way, but he can adjust, if they are celebrated instead of labeled.
Parents, quit this crap.
So many of us as first-time parents over-react every to the slightest things. If our kid isn’t sitting up, walking talking whatever by 8 months, they are somehow struggling. Really? How many kids in middle school still bring their blankee or their nook to school. How many are still wearing diapers – do you? The parents that has to advertise how advanced their one year old is – is insecure themselves, they need to be assured by the rest of the world that the place of their child is faultless so that they, in their minds, remain in a place without blemish. But everyone else knows that’s crap, except they, themselves.
Oh well, why have to deal with parents that are less mature for their age than their own kids?
Let it slide. Your kid will be fine. Yes, there are real issues, yes; there are real conditions, real challenges and we, as parents will deal. But a measure of restraint, a word of encouragement to you, we, as parents are so much less concerned about the actions of our youngest growing up, compared to when our oldest was his age. That too, is to be expected, because oftentimes there is no one, just a little way down the road that can tell you what’s coming. Young parents need that; parents with middle school and high school need that too.
Really, we all need that.