Memos From Your Child
As an addition to my recent post on childhood I thought I’d include this note from a child to a parent. I wish I could source it, but I can’t. As far back as I can remember it was on the back of my bedroom door at the cottage. Even as a child I can remember agreeing with it. Now as a parent, I find myself constantly referring to it. I’m not sure where that poster is now, but the words have always stayed with me…
Memos From Your Child
Don’t spoil me. I know quite well I shouldn’t have all I ask for. I’m only testing you.
Don’t be afraid to be firm with me. I prefer it. It makes me secure.
Don’t let me form bad Habits. I have to rely on you to detect them in the early stages.
Don’t make me feel smaller than I am. It only makes me behave stupidly ‘big’.
Don’t correct me in front of people if you can help it. I’ll take much more notice if you talk to me quietly in private.
Don’t protect me from consequences. I need to learn the painful way sometimes.
Don’t make me feel my mistakes are sins. It upsets my sense of values.
Don’t be too upset when I say “I hate you.” It’s not you I hate. It’s your power to thwart me.
Don’t take too much notice of my small ailments. Sometimes they get me the attention I need.
Don’t nag – if you do, I’ll have to protect myself by appearing deaf.
Don’t make rash promises. I feel badly let down when promises are broken.
Don’t forget I can’t explain myself as well as I’d like. This is why I’m not always very accurate.
Don’t tax my honesty too much. I’m easily frightened into telling lies.
Don’t be inconsistent. It confuses me and makes me lose my faith in you.
Don’t put me off when I ask questions. If you do, you’ll find I stop asking and seek answers elsewhere.
Don’t tell me my fears are silly. They are terribly real to me.
Don’t ever suggest that you’re perfect or infallible. It gives me too great a shock when I find out you are neither.
Don’t ever think it is beneath your dignity to apologize to me. An honest apology makes me surprisingly warm towards you.
Don’t forget I love experimenting. I can’t get on without it, so please put up with it.
Don’t forget how quickly I’m growing up. It must be hard to keep pace with me but please try.
– Author Unknown
As far as I’m concerned, whoever wrote it was spot on. Children need our respect as well as our love and guidance. We can’t always be their friend, but we can always treat them like the people that they are.
Except when they’re whining…then all bets are off.