"Throughout this book, I felt Bruce had a secret window into my own life and private thoughts. Many private feelings I am currently dealing with were addressed and revealed in a manner that made me feel it is not only normal, but I am truly not alone in this. I was surprised that I cried while reading it and the comfort that the words brought me. I read tons of self-help books, among other types of books, and this book actually gives me hope and things to look forward to. My tears were from the fact that I am facing the words I read. I have been getting negative feedback from outside sources and these words reassured me not to listen, keep them out of your life and do what is right. The section on the other home/parent opened my eyes and freed me. I did not go into reading this book thinking it would help me on such a deep emotional level." ~Dorothy Justice, Vice Chair-Community Action Partnership

January 30, 2012

To Leap Or Not To Leap

A child who turns to you immediately for help will only learn to return without attempts.
Child's Leap / Jonathan Byrne
Perhaps the hardest part of being a parent is watching your child fail; the proverbial face plant in the midst of one of life’s critical moments. There is no guidebook on how a child should endure life’s little challenges. How you handle your observations, from a parent point of view is what separates you from the pack. 

From the time your toddler begins to walk, you will see your loved one respond to falling by getting back up. Although literally in this instance, as they grow older those little feet grow into bigger shoes that are more susceptible to tripping up.

From a very young age before speaking, your little one will:
  1. Investigate 
  2. Ponder
  3. Experience (through trial and error)
  4. Fail
  5. Learn
There is no reason to change how you handle this situation once they get older. Watching them move through this process can be entertaining and should be. In essence, this can be the easiest part of being a parent. You may get to witness an impending disaster as long as no one gets hurt. As the parent or guardian, you are allowed to laugh quietly.

You don’t have to leap every time to their safety when your loved one screws up. Your child doesn’t have to receive guidance on the right way or the best way or even the quickest. Since time as a toddler, your child will grow with the experiences of falling and getting back up. As they get older, you may have to become wiser with your understanding of the issues. Otherwise, let them grow, stumble, and get back on their own feet. Not leaping in immediately will help your child no matter how old. Knowing you are near will be enough comfort and support; the younger your child the closer with your safety net.

Sometimes you have to look the other way and give children opportunity to review the situation. A child who turns to you immediately for help will only learn to return without attempts. Let them mull the issue and try to put their arms around it. Maybe even make attempts at resolve. The chances of your young one rectifying the situation on his/ her first try are slim, but that’s ok and expected. As your child grows older, this period will become tougher for you as a parent and especially if you know the solution.

Try to remain calm. Remember the entertainment factor. Don’t ignore if solicited, but rather drop hints, point them in a direction, and/ or provide options depending on their maturity or age. You may learn to become too busy so he/ she can start to move with their own feet. Make excuses, but never leave your child isolated or stranded at any age. Always observing from afar, though understanding its best for children to try to resolve or rectify their own problems initially. Smiling or even laughing privately is not mandatory though recommended.

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