Top 10 Tuesday: Understanding Children...

There is not a parent around who can say their preconceived notions about children and parenting were correct. In fact, I'm fairly certain all would agree nearly everything they thought they knew, was so wrong. I am constantly having to apologize to friends and family for my foolish judgments I passed about their kids and parenting before becoming a parent myself.  Here are 10 things, of the four million, that everyone should know about children.

1. Unfortunately, children are not programmable robots. I see it all the time, my kid acts out in public and people shake their head. I know what they are thinking, Can't you make him sit down and shut up.  No. No I can't. Because if I could, I would! There is no magical way to sit a kid down and say, this is life and how you should behave... and have them fully understand.  Trust me, if this were possible, bedtime, nap time, and potty training would not SUCK!

2. Children need to know EVERYTHING, but on their own terms. Life is one big science experiment to a kid. While it would be nice if a child just took our word for it that fire is hot, they still need to know why.

3. Keep your expectations low. If you hold a child to high standards, then both you and the child will constantly be disappointed. Children live to wow adults and be helpful. If you set the bar so high, it's impossible for them to do that, then you are really the one with the problem, not the child.

4. No matter how much you want a child to reach a milestone, they will do it when they are ready. You can want and try all you want to make a child reach a milestone, but until they are ready, they won't. i.e. Walking and potty training.  It's best to let them grow and develop at their own rate, and embrace the stage they are at.

5. It's not always the parent's fault. Parents are not always to blame for a child's behavior or limitations. Unfortunately, there are many mental and physical issues that effect children. Not all are easily recognizable, so to blame a parent for a constantly naughty or delayed child is incredibly devastating to a parent. If you don't know the child, or the circumstances, you have no right to judge.

6. The routine is not a choice, it's necessary. Kids need routine for the world to make sense and feel safe. Parents need routine too... knowing bedtime is at 8pm has saved the sanity of many a parent.

7.  Saying NO! alone, means nothing. You can yell, NO! at a child until you are blue in the face, it's when you explain why, that a child will understand it.

8.  No two children are the same. Full stop. Just because one kid acts one way, doesn't mean the next who is the same age and even gender, will act the same. Kids grow at different rates both physically and mentally, and should NEVER be compared or held to the standards of another. It's not fair to the child or the parents.

9. Meltdowns happen. At any age. Adults have meltdowns, so why are we shocked and appalled when a kid does it? Even the most well behaved children have bad days.

10. Children See. Children Do. The best way to explain this, is with this video. Warning: It's not easy to watch...


April is an award-winning writer and blogger. Her work has been published in over ten countries and four languages. From books to newspapers, to print/online magazines and everything in between, you can find her work. For more on April, Visit