Hurting Doesn’t Help

I still catch myself in these ways of thinking. I still catch myself thinking old thoughts with my kids.

“If I get playful right now, he’s going to learn to be ‘difficult’ whenever he wants me to play with him.”

“If I don’t make her regret doing that, then she’s going to end up doing it again.”

It doesn’t make me a bad parent to have those thoughts, and I know enough to try not to act on them. I tell myself what I know: that children learn through play, that connection builds the relationship that supports literally everything else, that I see a hundred times a day how a connected and loving and silly and fun relationship with my children supports their participation (sometimes) in what I need them to do, and their resilience (sometimes) in when I have to make them do something that they don’t want to do.

And I get to keep watching them grow and learn every day. And I never have to hurt them to make it happen.

[Image description: A pink, salmon, and green swirly background with white font over the top of it which reads, “Kids do not need to be hurt – physically or emotionally – in order to learn. The end.” The quote is attributed to Shelly Robinson. The image was made by Shelly Robinson – Raising Yourself. End description.]