Friday, May 30, 2014

Your Children are Amazing

Sometimes when I write I don’t know where to start which is silly because obviously I should start at the beginning. But I’m just going to cut to the chase here because adult attention spans are shockingly short nowadays and before someone sends you that next BuzzFeed quiz (which flavor of microwave popcorn are you anyway?) I want to be sure you catch this one simple point.

Your children are amazing. AMAZING.

I think it’s easy to forget this stuff sometimes as parents. We get fed a ridiculous amount of messages every single day from pretty much every single person with a computer who thinks they can tell us what we should do or shouldn’t do as a parent:

These are the 4 things you needed to do YESTERDAY to raise a happy child.
Stop feeding your child these 6 things to ensure your kid is healthy.
Want your kid to love you? Be sure to say these 19 things to your kid every morning.

Honestly, I do believe that all of this comes from a good place. That we all just went happy and healthy kids and so we write and read and consume all of this stuff hoping it will yield the right result. We obsess over it. Or at least I do. But sometimes it’s too much, too many different voices chiming in with different dos and don’ts. And I feel myself starting to panic because I don’t know how I’ll ever retain all the stuff I’m supposed to know to parent them well, to churn out these awesome little creatures.

And though I’m certain it’s been said before I’m equally certain it bears reminding that when you obsess over that stuff so much, you sometimes forget that they already are awesome little creatures.

Last night I went to my nephew’s concert. It was a showcase of the best and the brightest in elementary orchestra, choir and band. In the beginning, there was an announcement for everyone to shut off all electronic gadgets. No phones, no cameras, no beeping. Nothing. Just music. Just kids and music.

There is something so amazing about a concert like this – seeing kids on stage performing their heart out for no other reason than the opportunity to be excellent at something, to try hard, to fill up the space with something beautiful. And so with no kiddies to watch and no phone to annoy me, I had nothing to do but close my eyes and open my heart and just listen.

I turned to see my sister frantically waving to her baby boy, the ever growing no longer a baby boy in the back with the giant tuba. Beaming with pride all the way up on the mezzanine, I thought about what my mother knew about her, about what she knew about him. These kids: they are amazing.

And they don’t need much more from us than love and encouragement. There are a million different ways to do this right but all it really requires of us is to let them be. Because your children are resilient and talented and loving and amazing. Somehow amidst all of the noise, I think had forgotten this a little bit.

And so if you can’t beat them, join them. I’m piling on my own advice to the already substantial number of how-to parenting pieces we all read each day. Inspired by last night’s concert, here it is: all you ever need to know to raise an amazing child in 5 words.

Open your heart and listen.


  1. Clapping and clapping and smiling and nodding. And run on sentencing.

    1. Too funny. So glad you enjoyed Amanda!

  2. Such a great reminder. My friend often assures the new mothers in her parenting groups that "there are many ways to get to the same place--healthy, happy kids." I like yours--simple & full of love. Now I can go ignore all those other lists of things I should be doing ;)

  3. What a great message and so true! (Those lists are getting old. Very old. The internet needs a new format.)