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One of the hardest parts about parenting…

Posted by Sandra on September 29, 2008

In my humble opinion, is remembering what’s important to THEM.

Let me try to explain what I’m thinking. In a toddler’s world, nothing matters except their little isolated circle of toys and playthings, their cartoons, their snacks. It’s easy for us to forget that when big brother takes a ball from them, it truly is crushing what’s most important – to THEM. To us, it seems so insignificant, nothing worth getting upset over – but to a three year old, it’s the event of the day that will completely destroy their fun.

When the young child draws on the wall in the playroom with a crayon, he’s created a beautiful work of art that he’s very proud of.  To us, he’s created an hour of work washing and repainting.  Really, is it THAT hard to see what’s more important in this scenario?  Does it really impact OUR lives so much that we rant and rave and get upset?  To me, it’s harmless. To them, it’s a story they had in their minds that they expressed for all to see. 

To the teen, their world revolves around their friends, “reputations”, next Friday night. Even though we can try to explain that in 10 years, whether or not Sally would go out with them won’t matter, or being grounded from the high school football game really won’t ruin their entire school career, or the pimple on the nose really isn’t a shining beacon calling all to look at the center of their face… to a teenager, these things can make or break their lives.  

It’s all too easy for the parents to just blow off what is so very important to these people, because it’s not important to US.

I try, each and every day, to remember what’s most important, what their little lives really revolve around, to my 3 year old, or 10 year old, or 15 year old… I try not to think of their worlds as any less impactful, less significant, than mine – I may have to think about my work, my mortgage, cleaning my house, fixing the furnace, and a thousand other things that are important to ME, so it’s easy to have the fleeting thought that the broken dish in the little pink china tea set doesn’t matter. 


But it’s so much more important that I take a few minutes of my time, get the glue, and piece that little girl’s broken plate back together – making her world complete again.


One Response to “One of the hardest parts about parenting…”

  1. Lara said

    This is so true. It seems easier to remember for my 9 month old but with my 9 year old step son I truly have to remind myself almost every day. Thanks for the reminder, Sandra!

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