Perseverance, grit, and thinking for oneself are all good things we wish for our children.
But, the path that gets them there includes the not-so-good periods of a lot of no-saying and lack of cooperation – “I’ll do it my way, thank you very much!”
Being interested in things and wanting to learn new things – certainly good things – are what we want for our children. To work their way to those good things they need to touch everything, try things that are not always safe, and start lots of things without necessarily finishing anything.
Getting along with others, being strong people who know what they need, and believing their needs are important are goals we have for our children. But, the path to being these things starts with seeing how others react to them. On this rocky path they may test out being a sneak, trickster, wimp, and even a bully.
While on the many rocky paths to all the good things that children can be, it is up to adults to help children keep moving forward and not get stuck on bad behaviors. It is important that adults correct and teach children without making them feel like failures.
Yes, children are trying different ways to move along the path – some good and some not-so-good. Yes, they are learning through trial and error – finding what works best. Yes, they are making missteps, but adults can show them how to keep moving forward to be the best they can be. They can teach them how to think for themselves and solve problems in acceptable ways. They can make it safe for them to explore new things. They can have consequences for bad behavior so they can learn from their mistakes. They can remind themselves that there are good things at the end of the rocky roads.