The secret world of childhood….

One would think that after having been a child myself, raising three children, being a teacher for a kazillion years, being with my grandchildren frequently, the secret world of childhood would not be such a mystery.

The total delight we feel in their accomplishments tempered with the narcissism that our DNA and/or our nurturing produced these accomplishments.  WHAAAAAAA?  We are taking credit for an accomplishment for which they worked so hard??  But it’s true.

When I was younger the expression was “chip off the old block.”  Now we hear “his solo on the violin was fantastic…he takes just after you.”  Man, am I good.  He takes just after me (caveat –  child and accomplishment changed to protect the genius).  And the truth is, we automatically internalize the talent and either assign it to ourselves or to someone else we love.  “She’s such a science whiz…..she must take after the other side of the family.”  “Even at this young age, he certainly gets his drive and work ethic from my side of the family.”  “I’m so proud, I was exactly the same way.”

The child rarely gets to hear, except by acquaintances or friends, “You are fantastic and you and only you are responsible for your hard work and how wonderful you are!” Ouch.

Conversely, if a child does something wrong, fails in school, gets “in trouble,” we don’t take any responsibility for that.  The blame goes to the child him/herself, the other parent, teacher……”What’s wrong with you? I taught you better than that.”  “YOUR daughter certainly isn’t going to be President of the United States.”  “YOUR son takes after your father and look what happened to HIM.”  “What goes on in YOUR classroom to make my son act this way?”  “This would NEVER have happened if I were watching him.”

When are we, the adults, taking a long, hard look at ourselves and what we could have done differently and can change to help these children?  In the middle of the night, when we can’t sleep.

The secret world of adulthood….

About Barb Knowles

The things that are important to me are family, friends, teaching, writing, languages and using my sense of humor to navigate this crazy world. Please join me on this blogging adventure...
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10 Responses to The secret world of childhood….

  1. Mama says:

    Very good point well made! Will keep an eye out on myself for this one.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Such a good point. I am still going to use my mother in law as the scapegoat for all the unattractive qualities my daughter displays

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Glazed says:

    Good point. On the other hand, there’s no such thing as a perfect parent, no matter how hard we try. We’ll put ourselves through all kinds of hell if we believe otherwise.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Love this. Nicely put.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. The Ranting Monkey says:

    I see your point but when I was a child, hearing that I was good at something because one of my parents was good at it made me feel more a part of the family. My children undoubtedly get their sense of humor from their father, something they’ve heard from many people many times, that doesn’t take away from them being funny.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Barb Knowles says:

      Very true. I like to use humor to make my point ( which I also think my son gets from me). But I’ve also seen some parents tell their kids that they get talent from them based on a dream the parents once had, not on a talent that they actually possessed. I think we should all get credit for the hard work that we personally put into something to achieve success. Good point about feeling part of a family. I hadn’t thought of that. Thank you for commenting on this post.

      Liked by 1 person

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