Why do we always feel a need to make excuses for why our children don't act like stuffy adults?
I admit that sometimes I get embarrassed by Madelyn's behavior in public and I start telling perfect strangers "It's naptime." or "She's hungry." or "It's been a long day." and a few months ago it was "She misses Daddy." First of all, its none of their business. Second, there is no excuse for bad behavior, but most importantly, we all have bad days and my 3 year old is not going to be on perfect behavior all of the time. Wow. What an epiphany right?
Parents aren't the only ones who do it. Teachers do it trying to ease our poor exhausted parenting hearts. Reassuring us that it's nothing we're doing wrong, it's just that Dad is deployed, or that all the kids were acting up, or she seemed really tired. How about she's 3 and cannot be expected to behave like an adult. Yes, there is room to teach and correct bad behaviors but expectations have to be realistic. If she misbehaved, she misbehaved and there is no excuse. I'm not going to take her home and punish her, but we are going to talk about it.
Sometimes there is an obvious reason for a behavior and it isn't just an excuse, sometimes our toddlers act the way we want to. I'll admit there are days where I would love to walk through the grocery store and throw stuff on the floor just because it's a bad day. It's our job as parents to teach that it is OK to feel that way, just not OK to do it.
Lately I've been looking deep in my pea picking parenting soul and seeing where I can do better, how I can improve so that Madelyn's life is improved. What I've found is that I need to stop excusing us both.
Linking up to Shell over at Things I Can't Say for: