Guest Blogger: Melanie Nichols
This March, we are sharing a special series of blog posts from Melanie Nichols. This series was originally posted in February 2021. You can find Melanie and her blog here. If you would like to submit to our blog, please email us.
Before becoming parents or teachers, many of us had at least kind of envisioned what our home or classroom would look like. Subconsciously or not, we had preconceived ideas about what our kids would be like and how we would be as parents or teachers. Reality rarely matches our imaginings, and we find ourselves with kids that are not exactly what we had anticipated.
As loving parents and teachers, it is essential that we set aside these ideas and focus on the kids that are in front of us *right now*. Accepting our kids where they are in every way – behaviorally, academically, physically, socially, and their unique personalities – is not an excuse for poor choices or lack of growth in any area. On the contrary, according to a post on EmpoweringParents.com (link below), recognizing our kids’ current abilities, limitations, and preferences allows us “to respond to them in the way that’s most meaningful and effective.”
Accepting our children where they are *Right Now* is the foundation from which we can guide their development. Whether it is a change in behavior, a new academic skill, or something else altogether, we can only help our children move forward once we recognize where they are starting from. As we make an effort to accept our children, we can also begin to appreciate them as emerging individuals. From there, they also become better at accepting themselves. This acceptance leads to a deeper love which eventually leads to them becoming successful people. And it all starts with us learning to teach and raise the children that we have, not the ones we had imagined we might have.