While I was desperately trying to find THE MANUAL on how to be THE PERFECT PARENT (spoiler: there is none) I swallowed a few dozens of parenting books. Some I loved, others I breezed through and a few didn’t appeal to me after all and were left unread on the shelf.
What I realized after reading all these books was one thing: Too much information can be as harmful as too little information. The key is ΠΑΝ ΜΕΤΡΟΝ ΑΡΙΣΤΟΝ (pan metron ariston=moderation is the key).
What I have done in the last couple of years is reread some chapters of the books that I found helpful and keep in mind little gems and treasures I find on the way.
One of these treasures was a phrase an author suggested we should tell ourselves each time we forget that we are dealing with a child. The deeper meaning was that we tend to get carried away and expect way too much from the little person we have in front of us.
Let me give you an example.
Iliana asked me yesterday to play hide and seek. In the effort of spending more quality time with my kids I decided to drop everything I was doing and play along. If Iliana asks, you usually obey since she is the sweetest, most sunshine-y little girl on this planet (objectively speaking of course).
What I had forgotten was that she hadn’t really grasped the concept of the game. Yiannis absolutely loves to play hide and seek and usually finds it extremely entertaining to scare the hell out of her whenever he hides and suddenly reappears (accompanied by a shriek voice and frightening face while pretending to be a lion). So the whole concept of hide and seek is a bit distorted in her little 3 year old mind.
Iliana: Mama, count to three and I will hide under the couch
Me: Honey, you are not supposed to tell me where you hide, I will count to ten and you will hide wherever you want, ok?
Iliana: Ok mama, I will hide under the couch and you will then count to 3.
Me: The whole purpose of this game is that you hide without telling me where you are and I will try to find you ok? don’t tell me WHERE you hide, ok?
Iliana: Ok mama. I will hide first and then you count to 3. She didn’t seem like grasping it but I decided to play along, anyway.
Me: 1……2…….3…….I am coming….
Iliana: Ok mama, I am behind the curtain!
I rest my case…
Until next time