I began to see the wisdom in joining a parent support group after this particular conversation with my daughter:
Me: We will be trimming the Christmas tree today. Won’t that be fun?
Lily: Oh yes! I would love to trim the tree.
Me: There are three trees. One is for you to trim because I have done the others.
Lily: I have a tree? Of my own?
Me: Yes. I have already put the lights and the polka dot ribbon on it. Would you like to hang the ornaments now?
So she hung ornaments on her 3-foot tree. We turned on the tiny colored lights, and stepped back to admire our work.
Me: Great job! We are all done.
Lily: What do you mean we are all done? We are going to trim the tree, aren’t we?
Me: Yes, we did that. All the spots on the trees are full of pretty sparkly things.
Lily– her anxiety level visibly rising with each carefully-chosen word: But. You. Said. We. Would. Trim. It. Trim it. Trim it. We didn’t trim it.
Me: The light bulb went on, and I asked her to show me what she meant by “trimming” the tree.
Lily, raising her arm to sweep across the top third of each tree, making the ear-splitting sound of a chain saw: THIS is trimming!
Sometimes our kids surprise us with their preconceived notions.
It bothers me a little that she currently knows more about chain saws than she knows about decorating Christmas trees! However, this child came to me at the age of eight, and she already had ideas about the definitions of words.
Going into the new year, we will be getting to know each other better. Hopefully, we can settle on common ground as far as the meanings of words.
As we do that, I plan to be active in the parent support group I started last year. We are a group of parents who meets on a telephone call every Tuesday evening to learn a parenting tip or two. Then we have a time of questions and answers, with everyone helping work through problems. The call lasts an hour. If someone can’t attend the parent support group one evening, the calls are recorded, and they can listen later at their convenience.
We would love to have you join us as we share tips, tools and ideas on how to be that wildly successful working parent of school age children you always knew you could be. And for a jump start on that, why not check out the ultimate in parent support groups here.
Happy new year from the little people and me. We wish you the best year ever