I just wrote a whole 3 paragraphs of this post, stopped, read over it and TRASHED IT.
I was writing a post about the assumptions and judgements of other parents on my child….and my words were just dripping with assumption and judgement.
So. *ahem.* Please bear with me while I try this again….
To assume the worst.
We don’t know anybody’s else’s thoughts….but we do know we’ve been hurt, misunderstood, betrayed, abandoned and wounded way too many times. It feels pretty logical sometimes to imagine everyone is going to do it again.
But, in a way, it’s true that what we see is what we get.
Whether or not it is actually the reality, if I see you as an enemy, I will probably hear your words as an attack.
When we see other people as judgers, we will perceive judgement all the time.
And when we see children as rebellious, manipulative and bad, we will experience their behavior as rebellious, manipulative, and bad.
It’s a really sore spot for me, I admit.
When someone, especially someone close to us, gives a negative caption for some facial expression on my baby’s face, I feel this ridiculously disproportionate rage rise up in me.
Don’t you put those words on my girl!
It doesn’t help that I believe words are incredibly powerful. That what we speak holds tremendous sway over our lives.
So I get really, really upset when someone speaks something bad about the heart of my child. Even in jest.
And I think it matters enough that you should, too.
Because, for as true as it is that bad assumptions yield bad experiences….It is equally true that good ones can produce good experiences.
What we believe is, so often, what we will see.
And what we see is what we say.
And what we say is what our kids hear.
And our kids need to hear good.
Our kids need us to believe the best about them.
When we believe the best about our children, we are much more likely (and able) to respond to them (when, for example, they are discovered unloading the dishwasher while standing inside it!) with respect, compassion, and positive solutions instead of anger, annoyance, and knee-jerk reactions.
And we tend to create whatever we believe. So if we want to help our children grow up to create good things and bring good into the world, it starts with believing, speaking, and expecting good in them.
Maybe we could just call it hope.
So let’s believe in hope. Let’s model it and assume the best.
About our children.
About each other.
And about the whole world.
There is always hope, and hope changes everything.