After more than a year into this whole parenting thing, I’ve grown to realise just how much I have learnt from bringing up this tiny human. As a person who is stubborn as a mule, I am surprised myself at how my perception of things are now, in a good way of cause, and how I continuously look forward to being a better individual. I did not occur to me until recently when Isaac got bitten (twice) in toddler class. I’ll get to that later. Meanwhile, here’s what I’ve learnt.
“Patience is a virtue” – I used to think whoever came up with that saying must be a saint. I do not know how it is possible for anyone to wait for anything without getting annoyed, or keep their cool over the slightest frustration when they have had a bad day. All I want to do is have everyone just leave me be until I have cooled off. Of cause now that we have a toddler at home, I cannot possibly ask him to leave me alone. Even when he tests my patience further, I find myself taking a deep breaths and dealing with the situation in a very calm manner. Simply because he is only a child and I do not want to be filled with guilt after losing my temper at him.
“To err is human; to forgive, divine” – As mentioned earlier, Isaac was bitten in school last week. His teacher wrote us a note to inform us what happened because she could not get us over the phone. According to her, Isaac did not want to share with another kid in class which led to the biting incident. My mister and I did not pursue the matter because we knew for a fact that children fighting/biting is inevitable in school. It only made me think what if the kid who had bitten someone else was Isaac? Would I want the other kid’s parents to scold my child? I sure as heck hope not! I must admit I was upset to see such a big bite on his chin. But we decided to teach Isaac to share the toys instead of fighting back. That same week, he was bitten again. By another kid this time. At this point, I started having doubts about telling him not to retaliate. Did I indirectly teach him not to defend himself? After all, what’s done is done. I chose to teach him to forgive. At the same time, we informed the school to watch after the kids closely because children will be children. I do not blame the kids, I am just upset that the school’s oversight allowed this to happen.
“Children learn more from what you are than what you teach” – I cannot agree anymore with this quote. Especially at this age (21 months), Isaac is extremely impressionable. He is good at mimicking commercials or anything that we do. Once, he saw his daddy toss a book onto the sofa. The very next moment, he picked up the book and did exactly the same thing. Did his daddy have the right to tell him not to throw anything? Sure, but it contradicts his actions which he had just displayed. With such an impressionable toddler around us, it constantly reminds us to behave how we would like him to behave. Without a doubt, our little one is an unique individual. However, I do see some of our behaviours in him. I strongly believe that if we show him to be kind and respectful to others, he will mimic our behaviours even if he does not understand it yet.
“Better bend than break” – When I was much younger and before I had my own kid, I had in mind exactly how I would raise my child. I knew for a fact I was going to be a very rigid parent. I would probably end up being the one setting all the rules, while the kid has very little power and say. But as I grew older and entered parenthood, I noticed the need to be more flexible with the way I see things. I remember how I used to think that I would not expose my son to the television programmes until he is 2 years old. But I gave in before he even turned 1. Did it stunt his growth in any way? Nope. He ended up learning to sing, dance and count while watching Elmo’s World. All that I want from being flexible, is for my child to know that he has the right to make choices and I am always willing to listen. This will also help to develop his confidence and decision making skills in future. At the end of the day, it really is his feelings and our relationship that I value the most.
“A little more kindness, a little less judgement” – Every time I see any parent dealing with an upset child, I no longer judge. Simply because I do not know that mom/dad. It is certainly not the easiest job in the world being a parent. After all, a little bit of kindness / compassion goes a long way.
It is really amazing how a tiny human can make such a huge impact in our lives. While in the process of teaching our little one to be a good person, I realised that we are actually teaching ourselves to be a better every time. This is undeniably the best journey in life thus far.