Yesterday a member of my family complimented one of my kids to me. It was about politeness.
It stopped me in my tracks for a moment. I observed them, my two, and my 12yo nephew who is also staying with us due to a family situation.
I watched them peripherally, interacting and playing and, you know, being kids, both at my parents’ place out back in the yard, and at home later.
It was at the dinner table back home when I decided to share the compliment with them. Told them that their exemplary behaviour lately was, and is, noticed. Not just by me, but by others.
Kind of counters the teenagers’ but it doesn’t matter and no one cares, and nobody notices push-back I get at times. 😃
I didn’t go into details who said what. I just wanted to bring home the understanding that despite their push-back, insisting on kindness and politeness is not only seen by others, but appreciated.
I wanted it to sink in.
My two 12yos smiled quietly when I complimented them. But my 15yo, he was visibly happy. Did he realize, even subconsciously, that it was meant mostly for him?
If you read here regularly you know I’m challenged parenting my tall-and-getting-taller minions. That inside our little quartet, things aren’t always easy, or pleasant. The usual ‘breaking free’ and ‘pushing boundaries’ behaviour teenagers are known for comes out in attitude or sullenness at times, the constant debating and negotiating every little chore harps on our nerves, and all the rest of the ‘normal’ teenager conduct. It’s hard. On them, but also on us parents.
If you’re going through it now, you know what I mean. 😊
If you’ve already been through it, which I know some of you have, you will remember it well. I appreciate all the feedback you have given me in the comments over the years I’ve been battering away on this blog, thank you for taking that time, it means a lot to me (and to others who read comments). ❤
For those of you who are still in the baby/toddler/preschool and elementary school stage, don’t despair. It’s all normal, whatever your situation is in whatever phase you are in. Most importantly, every phase has moments that highlight (and lowlight) things you will fret over and that, too, is normal. 😉
I see you. Just like you see me.
Back to the compliment: to see my/our parenting efforts noticed by others, and remarked on, it means I am/we are doing at least something right. It’s nice to hear it.
It’s also a reminder to acknowledge these moments to other people, parents of kids whom you have seen act in ways that make you feel pleased, happy or proud. Tell them what you experienced with their kid(s), it will make their day!
So there’s that.
Instead of reprimanding myself to change and adapt and worry and devise new systems to reach the kids on a continuing basis, I will just keep doing what I’m doing. Because…
The kids are alright.
And so am I.