One of the most important things I have learned since becoming a parent is that my kids are constantly changing, and the way they are today may not be the way they are tomorrow.
My 3-year-old triplets are preschoolers, and late last year I went to my very first parent-teacher’s conference. At the meeting, the teachers told me that my daughter Eva is a wonderful and friendly child. They also said she is social, has lots of friends, and is very engaged with the materials in the room. Then, we talked about my boys.
They said my boys are also social and engaged, but are sometimes too spirited and have trouble controlling themselves in the classroom. I was over the moon about my daughter’s report and not so thrilled about my boys, but if you had asked me several months ago which one of my kids might have problems with self-control, I wouldn’t have guessed it to be either of my boys.
Before my boys started school they were pretty easygoing toddlers. They listened to me as a parent (as much as you could expect any 2 year old to listen to you), were kind to other kids, rarely fought with each other, and were easily consoled if they had a meltdown. For us, the terrible twos really wasn’t that terrible. The case with my daughter, though, was a little bit different. She never listened to me about anything, routinely picked fights with her brothers (and won), and was inconsolable whenever she cried. An easy toddler she was not.
Now my kids are older and everything about them has changed. My easygoing boys have become more strong willed and at times defiant. My Eva who never listened to me about anything is now my easygoing child and is blossoming in the classroom!
After talking to my kids’ teachers about my boys I was worried. I spent time wondering what caused this change in their behavior and if I ever get back my sweet little boys. Then I remembered everything I went through with Eva and how different things are with her now. I realized that nothing about my kids at this stage is permanent. They are kids, and they are going to go through many changes and phases in both personality and behavior — and that’s okay.
Of course, as parents, it’s important to pay attention to problems and to deal with them appropriately, but it is also important (perhaps more important) for us to stay positive through every change and phase, and to keep perspective.
Notoya Green is a parenting expert and former family law attorney. You can read her blog at www.triple