Someone posted this on Facebook and I had to re-copy it here. I think it is one of the most profound pieces for any parent, Ever! Thanks Way of a Peaceful Parent!
"I really am your gift. I am not just a little person who needs to be "raised" and taught, and taken to activities....I came to the people in my life to bring a message: slow down. Feel. Be. Over and over again. When you do, you will notice immediately, that I am not an obstacle to your work, or inconvenient to your daily life, Instead, you will come to appreciate my honesty, humor, presence and love
• Include me before making decisions that affect me.
• Do not throw anything away that belongs to me, unless I am asked first.
• Find out what my experience is like with the teachers in school, and believe me. Take action if necessary. Stand up for me too, as a person.
• Talk to me in the same voice you talk to adults with
• Respect my interests even though they may seem just cute to you
• Do not refer to me as a "terrible two" person
• See me as a whole feeling person when I am a teenager. I am more than raging hormones or "just a teenager." I will do the same for you no matter what your age.
• If you are afraid for me, tell me so honestly with your heart.
• Do not punish me ever. Teach me. Hold me. Love me. Trust that I,
just like you, want to do what is right, and don’t want to hurt anyone.
• Help me understand what I don’t know. Don't call me names, or label me or compare me, or make me compete for anything. Help me cooperate and collaborate. Be the example for me.
• Hug me, Kiss me, and Hold me a lot. Be kind with your smile. It’s all ok.
• If you are upset with something in your life, know when you are upset. Don't be angry with me or blame me, or judge me. If you want me to know something and hear you, notice your voice and angry or judgmental thoughts before you give them to me. I, like you, do not feel good when I am admonished, made wrong or blamed. It just doesn't feel good. I want to hear and understand you. I like being connected.
• If you feel embarrassed by something I am doing, hug me. Come closer. I am being myself completely. If I need to be more aware of others, I want to know that. I can hear your kind voice remind me.
• When you are with me, be completely with me. If you are in your thoughts, pretending to be with me, then you are not with me at all.
• Treat me exactly like you would want me to treat you. Exactly.
• Assume that I “see” everything. I am exquisitely sensitive and can feel pretense, falseness, and hidden agendas. I can also feel love.
• Know when you are sarcastic. Sarcasm is mean and creates distance, hurt and separates us, almost without noticing. Humor brings us together.
• If I am fidgety, seem bored, have difficulty sitting still, talk too much, appear to have a short attention span, please join with me. Ask me, with an attitude of wonder, what my experience is in the classroom, or wherever I appear to not want to be. I am not ADD or ADHD, or any diagnosis. I simply want to be where there is life, movement and creativity happening. (ask me what I mean by all this). Together, we’ll find understanding.
When it looks like I am having, what you call a tantrum, it is all I know to do
to make contact, to be heard, to be taken seriously, to be held.
• I am naturally creative. Notice how I make things out of leaves, or sticks, or bubbles, or crayons. Notice how I like to climb and explore, and discover everything all at once. Listen to my imagination at work. That's not just kid stuff. That is what you might do too if you would join with me.
• Sometimes, I know what to do without reading written instructions. I don't have words for it, I just know. I have the ability to see how things go together. I may do things differently than the way you learned. That's ok. Both ways may work. And anyway, I have fun finding my own way. The destination don't matter that much.
• I may take longer than you completing something. That is because I am in no hurry to get anything done. I haven't learned yet that hurrying, being busy and always anxious, are fun.
• I do not need you to always say Yes to me. Actually, yes or no don't matter. What matters is how you hold me in your heart, how you see me, and your appreciation for me. 'Cause when you appreciate me, and see through my eyes too, a yes or no will always be the right thing for both of us.
• I do not need you to be with me. I need you to be with yourself. When you are with yourself, you are with me.
• No matter how old I am, three years old, sixteen, or forty-five, I am not intending to deceive you, take advantage of you, use you or disrespect you. If you have those thoughts or the belief that I am "asking too much," that is not my intent. I am really, searching out ways to make contact, and to be with you, to acknowledge my presence.
• When I cry, I am feeling. Crying can be like sneezing, feeling close to you, singing or running. It is just my body expressing itself. I might have been sad, or hurt or afraid. When I am feeling in my body, I am relieved. All you need do is be present with me so that I know you are there, but not trying to stop me or make me feel better.
• I am wise. I know things. I see things. I know naturally what I need to know. I believe and trust myself and my intuition. Unless I learn to not trust myself. I have to be taught from the outside to not believe the truth of things.
• I sometimes feel safe in the world. Sometimes I don't. If I feel or sense something, and others don't, (maybe even make fun of me), I get even more scared. I can feel so alone and wrong. It helps when you take me seriously, regardless of my age, and ask me more questions about what I “see,” feel or sense. I might be seeing something you need to know.
• I really am your gift. I am not just a little person who needs to be "raised" and taught, and taken to activities. I am not, by accident in your life. Incredible or unbelievable as this may sound, I came to the people in my life to bring a message: slow down. Feel. Be. Over and over again. When you do, you will notice immediately, that I am not an obstacle to your work, or inconvenient to your daily life. Instead, you will come to appreciate my honesty, humor, presence and love.
Be yourself, and if you don’t know for sure, what yourself is, ask me. (Bruce Scott)