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Go to your room... Go to your room...
by Katerina Charisi
2018-03-17 10:10:29
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There comes a day when you realize that your child is actually a human with real personality and not just …decorative. By “decorative” I mean that, well, since your child is born, as newborn and quite for a while since then, you have the full control of its whole existence. You control everything about your children; when, how, where, how much and for how long they eat, sleep, stay at this or other place (in the crib or the stroller, the floor or on the couch). As they grow a bit older, you control the way they learn to do things, like talking, walking, using their fork. You control how much water they drink, what time they go to sleep, which sheet is covering their bodies, what clothes they put on. Oh, and since you put their clothes on, you control that too: How you put the shirt, if the underwear is matching the pants, if the socks are blue or red, or whatever.

kids01_400The “extra points” of love you show them, like, an expected little gift, a lollipop, a chocolate, a walk, a bedtime story, is something you use as “favor”, you learn to take it as something you also have full control of and, you often use it as a threat or punishment too.

I’m not reading to you tonight. You didn’t behave.

I’m not staying with you tonight until you fall asleep. I’m too tired or you misbehaved or whatever.

You might feel a little pinch of guilt inside your guts as you go to your own room and lie down, but only for a while.

Okay, you say to yourself, maybe this wasn’t the best of our days. Let’s try tomorrow to make it better.

And you close your eyes, already making plans for the next day and how to make it a best - as much as possible - day.

And …there comes a day where your kid is a little older and as you lie next to him with the book on your lap, waiting for them to stop fighting or teasing (if they are two or more) or talk about all the things kids remember to talk about once it’s time to sleep so you can start reading, and suddenly his words punch you right in the stomach:

“Mom, I think that I don’t want you to read to me anymore. I don’t need a bedtime story; I’m too old for this. Besides, if I want one, I can read it myself.”

“Mom, you don’t have to stay with me anymore at nights until I fall asleep. I am not a baby and not afraid of the dark. Not anymore. You can go to your room.”

Go to your room.

That felt like the worst punishment I ever got.

And then, you realize that kids do really grow up and not just their bodies. Their inner self grows up too. And every day that they grow up, is a day less of them being your little kids.

Oh yes, they will be your children forever, but they won’t be children for too long.

Someday, they send you to your room and it might hurt less (it’s going to hurt, no matter what) if you make sure you spend each and every day of their childhood and of your own self as a parent of little kids, to its best and fullest, with their ups and downs, yes, there’s no other way around, but also with the 120% of you, of each cell of you separately, to be fully, ultimately and unconditionally there.

For them; but for you as well.

*Honestly, since that night, I never told them again: “go to your room.”

 


   
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