The Wrong Time to Lecture

[Image description: A typewriter font on a white background that says, “Don’t offer a lecture to a person who needs a hug.” The image was made by @Wordology. End description.]

Just a simple reminder. ❤

A lot of times, we think (mistakenly) that if we don’t lecture our child “in the moment” about whatever it is that they did wrong (or whatever we think should have been different), then they won’t learn anything from it, the moment will pass and they’ll think they “got away” with it, etc.

In actuality, nobody—children included—does their best learning when they are scared or hurt or upset or flooded with emotions. Human brains have to be regulated first before they’re capable of storing new learning or processing and sorting new input.
So when your child needs a hug, it’s okay to just give them a hug, to hold them until they’re regulated. Or—“hug” is a shorthand here—some kids (and adults) don’t want to be hugged when they’re upset, but to be given space. It’s okay to give them that space. It’s okay to let the moment pass.

If there’s a voice in your head that worries that they’re not learning anything from it, ask yourself where that voice came from. Chances are that it might’ve been a voice that you heard in childhood. It’s okay to acknowledge that voice and what it’s meant to you over the years. It’s also okay to let that voice know that you know something different now. You know that learning isn’t happening in this moment anyway—at least not in “lecture” form. The only kind of learning that’s sticking in this moment is your child learning whether or not you are a safe person to be around during a problem, and you want that answer to be yes.