- The time we invest in their life skills is really important.
- We are a lot more responsible for a child’s behavior than we are normally aware of.
- Reframing a child’s challenges into positive strengths changes the way we see their behavior.
I’m proud to be your dad. Your joy and zest for discovery are powerful. I watch the way you learn and often wish I could be just like you. You are patient with Anna and encouraging at the same time. You adore your youngest sister and show a deep interest in being close to her.
Some will try to tell me that I’m lucky to be the dad of such a good kid, and maybe they’re right, but my heart tells me differently. My heart tells me that your mom and I have helped to nourish the goodness within you.
I’m reminded of the hours of walking and exploring the backyard at your pace together, building campfires, moving sticks, playing tag, and playing with the garden hose.
I remember watching you leave your dinner-plate almost completely full, knowing that it takes time to learn how to listen to your body for nourishment.
I remember many times stopping you from hitting your sister out of frustration and giving you time to figure out another way to respond.
I can remember times that you got frustrated with building your first towers and you became indignant to the point of tears. Even then I was teaching you that you always had a choice. I said, “You’re upset about the tower falling over. Would you like to try it again or do you want to do something else?” You paused, looked at the blocks you had, and started building again. Since then, you’ve taken this lesson with you and have often given things more tries than I would have.
All these things we’ve done on purpose, to help you grow in a way that you would become independent, caring, self-sufficient, and kind.
There will be many more things we try to do; some will help and some won’t. But more and more, every year, your life becomes yours and I am excited to watch you pursue all that you want in life for yourself and for others.