We had a lovely time playing with a group of friends yesterday, as well as baking pumpkin pies to be taken to a homeless shelter on Thanksgiving. Our big kids were interested in helping with the baking, and Yessa was interested in being my shadow, so everyone was happy.
There were lots of kids of various ages running around playing together, Monkey being the eldest one there. I really like all the Moms who were there, even though I don’t know all of them very well. I did have one incident that came up that reminded me of some parenting differences. And how annoying I find some of these differences.
I forget how Buds and I talk to our kids. And how most of the people we are close to talk to their children: No Baby Talk. I don’t mean the baby talk that people use with infants. The sing-song lilt of a voice talking to a happy baby is a wonderful thing. I’m not referring to that.
I mean the adults who think that children–no matter their age nor intellectual capabilities–are deserving of easy censure and less respect than adults.
Our children are good at conversation. They are comfortable talking to people of all ages. In their child-ness, they are still very self-centered. The Buster is generally going to want to talk to you about a game he has created or played. Monkey will want to discuss the play she has written, and Yessa will talk about something random. They won’t engage an adult in a back and forth conversation about work, or the weather, or political beliefs. Still, they are comfortable conversing with anyone they choose to engage.
They don’t need to be bossed or spoken down too. Nor do they need to be given guidance by every adult in the room if I am standing right there. If you are playing a game with them, or working with them, and want to give encouragement or even if you need to redirect or intervene, as long as it is done in a loving, respectful way, then wonderful. Thank you for caring for my children and being part of our village.
If you think you get to boss them just because you are over the age of 20, you are most likely going to get a not so kind look from me, and a verbal redirection for my children, indicating to them that they don’t need to pay attention to you.
Just like with adults, my children get to choose to whom they give their attention and affection. We try to be respectful of all humans, but true connection comes from mutual respect, not just because you are an adult.
(Getting down off soap box, and taking a deep breath.)