I just got off a call with Early Intervention for my 2 year old, who qualified for PT, OT, and Developmental support. I was floored.
As a teacher, and as someone who works with kids and families, I kept imagining how this would be if I wasn’t someone familiar with the jargon, the process, and the fact that what’s assessed isn’t always important.
Even so, I left feeling totally overwhelmed.
And, in that moment, I thought of you.
My core desire is to support you in developing a calm, connected household and raise resilient kids.
While doing this, I assume that you know that I know this is all hard work, and that there’s not one right answer that works for everyone, there are just some helpful ways of thinking about kids that I try to provide.
I don’t think I say that enough.
So, here I am saying it: this is hard work. There’s not one right answer, and there’s not one right way that works for every kid. There are billions of kids here on Earth, and billions of great ways to raise great kids.
After that call, I started to spiral:
Should I have caught these issues earlier?
Should I use these providers or seek other ones?
Will this be too much for my tiny toddler having these strangers in her home a few times a week?
Am I giving her what she needs or am I overwhelming her?
I know we all feel this. Those of us on this email list are here because we’re wanting to do right by our kids.
And, often, it’s hard to know what “right” actually is.
So, I’m not coming to you with any answers or tips today.
I’m coming to you here just to say that no matter what we do, we’ll question what we’re doing. That’s how it is when you’re working on something important. That’s how it is when you’re working with people.
That’s how it is when you’re working on something as ongoing, malleable, and specific as a child’s development.
So I’m sharing what I’m telling myself in case it’s helpful for you:
– There is no one right answer. Whatever I decide to do is the best decision at the time. If I decide to do something else with more information later, that won’t make me wrong now.
– When my kid is an adult, there will be ways that she wants to be similar to me and ways that she wants to be different from me. She’ll have her own issues to deal with because of who I am as a person. That will be true no matter what I do.
– There’s no perfect way to raise a kid. There are a bunch of calm, connected ways, and that’s what I’m striving for.
– I’m going to enjoy my smushy baby/toddler now. And later. The delight I feel for her will be absorbed into her nervous system. So, I’ll delight in her and continue to delight in her.
There’s a story in Judaism about the meaning of the Torah (Bible). A rabbinical student asked a rabbi to recite the whole torah while balancing on one foot. The Rabbi stood up, lifted his foot, and said:
Love your neighbor as yourself. Everything else is commentary.
I believe that’s true for us too.
Love your kids, delight in them. Everything else (including all of the hopefully helpful information in these emails..) is commentary.
Let’s acknowledge the hard work we’re all doing. As we strive to raise resilient kids, it’s important to remember that there are many right ways to do just that.
Be sweet to yourself this summer. I’m rooting for you.