Christine Gross-Loh Author, Parenting Without Borders: Surprising Lessons Parents Around the World Can Teach Us
“M-a-t” “M-at.” “Mat.” My 6-year-old pored over her Bob book, painstakingly sounding out each word. I listened and worried; her older brother was able to read those same words at a much younger age.
It’s natural to compare our children and fret over their development. We are encouraged in the United States to look at a child’s expected milestones and make sure they are meeting them on time. It wasn’t until I started researching global parenting that I discovered how many of a baby’s and child’s stages and milestones actually aren’t universal.
I frequently talk with parents I work with about the power of allowing and truly accepting a child's emotions. Something "magical" often happens when children's emotions are welcomed and validated. No matter how many times I see this process unfold between children and adults, I am never not inspired and in awe of it!
I recently had a "magical" experience with my 4-year-old niece, Lucy, that I felt inspired to share. She and her 9-year-old sister, Seara, asked me to be the judge for their fashion show contest. They each dressed up three Barbies in the most fashionable outfits they could find and I had to decide who won each round. I initially felt hesitant about the fact that I had to chose one niece to be the winner, because I didn't want the other one to feel bad. Then I remembered that I'm capable of handling any reactions and feelings they show AND that I should practice what I preach to parents and be willing to accept whatever emotions they might feel.
Crystal Andrus Morissette is a parenting expert and worldwide leader in the field of self-discovery and personal transformation. She'll talk about 3 kinds of emotional archetypes that you may be operating from as a parent. If you are bringing unhealthy baggage from your past into your role as a parent, you can identify your inner "Emotional Age" in parenting and move toward a healthier parent-child relationship.