Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Amazed... and sad! :(

My niece is not quite 3. I find her utterly brilliant. I was eating a kind of fruit snack the other day and she actually asked if there were peanuts in it (she can't eat peanuts). I said no. Then she asked if she could have one! She's not even 3! Her speech is just utterly amazing.

This brilliance, however, means she picks up on all kinds of things and she said something yesterday that at first left me kind of shocked, then sad. I was dropping my two off at a science workshop, leaving the newest little one asleep in his car seat, my niece in her car seat, and the 16yo to watch over them. I got back in the van and the 16yo shows me a broken Ken doll--my niece had been doing something with it and snapped the head off. She said, and I'm pretty sure I'm quoting correctly: "I'm not a good kid, huh?" (insert wide-eyed shocked face here)

It just points to a certain reality about our society: we have a way of making feel kids bad about themselves when they make mistakes. We talk to them more harshly about their mistakes than we would to a fellow adult (well, assuming we're not in a bad relationship with them), even though kids are less capable than adults and need more patience and care. We make big deals out of little things, affecting their sense of self. I catch myself especially with my son. How am I affecting him by forgetting that he's just a kid? By treating him as though he ought to be more on the ball than a friend or my husband?

I hope this 2yo's words stick with me forever.

1 comment:

  1. It was very timely for me to have read this a few days ago, then discovered yesterday that my 13yo dd had inadvertently signed up to a "service" where she was being charged $3/text to receive occasional drivel texts from a provider. She has lost NZ$27 which is a lot to her.

    With your story about your niece in the back of my mind, instead of getting angry and anxious, I was able to relax and see this mistake as a good learning experience - it has definitely been that for my dd! She is absolutely determined to be more careful in future, not just with phone services but with accepting any kind of service that could have hidden costs.

    We hope we have ended the text "service" and I am so pleased that my dd and I were able to remain positive about this.