Day 12: It's Not Personal

Updated: May 1, 2020

Tip #12:

Try to remember, it's not personal, it's developmental.

Have you ever wondered, "Is my kid going to be a psychopath?" or "Is she going to have a normal life?" Your kid just punched her brother in the gut after a fight about Legos. Or, you thought you were having a conversation about finishing their reading and your kid says: "Starfire looks a lot like my dance teacher, Ms. Tara." What exactly is going on inside that brain? Is it quote, unquote "normal?"

Chances are incredibly high, in fact, undoubtedly pointing in the direction of yes, your child is very much "normal." Whatever glitches he displays on a regular basis are not indicative of a developing character flaw or budding personality disorder. They are proof that he is developing quite normally.

Development isn't a zero to sixty progression in the blink of an eye. It appears more like one step forward, two steps back as the the entire system works together to master something new. Maybe you have a child under two or you can think back on your child at that age learning how to do stairs. Did she want to go up and down over and over again? Did she master going up first only to then reach the top and cry for you because she had no idea how to get back down? Did she seemingly master it one day only to refuse to do the stairs at all the next? Every achievement: climbing stairs, tying shoes, making a bed, or regulating emotions takes loads of practice and interplay of cognition, sensory input, muscle coordination, as well as physical and mental dexterity.

When your child gets overloaded or some part of the step-by-step process doesn't hit its target, it doesn't mean a full system failure any more than it means they actually hate you and want to run away. It means they are developing. Try not to take it personally.

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