This post is sponsored by the Center for Parent and Teen Communication. All opinions (and memories!) are my own.
When I became a mom 18 years ago I was beyond thrilled and terrified all at the same time. As a new mom, I had no idea what to expect because let’s face it kids don’t come with handbooks. When the time came for me to hold my son for the first time I was in awe of this little human. Yes, I was terrified what if I had made a mistake by having a child when I knew I had MS but then he looked at me and all I could think about was how much I loved him and everything else slipped away.
Over the next 18 years, we would have our ups and downs. There were moments of pure joy and moments when I thought I would pull my hair out in frustration. But we preserved and he is a thriving young man.
This realization that my kid was okay lead me to read a blog post from Dr. Ken Ginsburg that talks about how remembering your child’s childhood can help you deal with the frustrations of them as a teen. Dr. Ken Ginsburg talks about how drawing from childhood memories can help you deal with what is happening in your teen now. You can read this article in its entirety HERE. It is quite fascinating what I learned as a parent from it. It also made me reflect back on my son’s childhood and just one of my favorite stories.
My Kid’s Childhood Then
When my son was just about 18months I had put him on the kitchen floor to play with some pots and pans while I worked on getting dinner ready. As I worked he was playing and talking away as even at 18 months he had a pretty good grasp on language. We spent some time chatting when all of a sudden things got quiet. As we all know as a mom a quiet child usually equals trouble. So I turned to see that my kid was gone. I started looking for him and calling his name. He would giggle each time I would call him. So I followed the giggles and wouldn’t you know I found him in the dryer. My little explorer had found his way into the dryer. When I ask him what he was doing he replied simply I am fixing it.
I remember being in awe that one he had figured out how to open both the laundry room door and the dryer door. But even more shocking was he related being in the dryer with fixing it. Something in me at that moment just knew when he grew up he would do something the required him to create and build.
My Kid Teen Years Now
Fast forward 18 years later from this dryer scene and my son is a thriving college student. And yes you guessed it he is studying a field where he is creating and building. In fact, he is studying to be an engineer. There are moments when he and I both get frustrated with how he approaches his time and school work but I can always look back on that moment I found him in the dryer and smile knowing my kid is doing what he loves and is still exhibiting signs of a person who believes in exploring and figuring things out.
Love is seeing someone as they deserve to be seen, rather than seeing them based upon behaviors they might be displaying.
A Guide to Parenting Teens
What childhood memory do you have of your kid that allows you to see their best qualities?