If Children Live with Shame

In the facebook group we’re exploring the beautiful poem, ‘If Children Learn What They Live.’

My 4-year-old has a small tool set. It has similar tools to an adult tool set – just a little less sharp. I just witnessed him ‘fixing’ our bedroom wall with his hammer. When I noticed and called out William! Stop!, he looked sheepish, backed away from his handiwork and said, “Who did it?” I said “You, but it’s OK, you didn’t know.” He’s just learning, and a little bit of polyfilla and paint will fix the wall. Many times, in the past, I would have lost my temper as I viewed my child as ‘naughty’ or ‘clumsy’ and made my child feel ashamed for causing me inconvenience. Now I recognise that my child’s feelings about him or herself are much more important than my convenience. I need to be kind to him, and to myself as I look back on my parenting mistakes, and remember that, “It’s OK, you didn’t know”.

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