I’ve heard for a long time that kids will act their worst with their parents because we have to love them no matter what. I’ve been reminded of this a few times in my short history of being a parent. I had never had the concept demonstrated quite so clearly as at my daughter’s gymnastics class.

Who was this little girl lining up so promptly, listening so intently to instructions and waiting her turn quietly?

This little girl who got visibly perturbed when other kids were not conforming to the line procedure set out by her teacher.


Meanwhile at home she makes her own rules.

How many times have we pulled out the old “how many times do I have to tell you?”

The gymnastics teacher offers her a Halloween candy and she responds “I have to ask my mom.”

At home if she asks for a cookie and I say no I get a barrage of but but buts. And then probably some crying.

Her teachers at school have told me how good she is, how she shares with other kids. This same kid who spent an entire playdate at our home keeping toys away from the little girl who came to play.

I’m trying to take pride in the fact that she’s so well liked by her teachers and by her peers, and be glad that she’s comfortable enough with us that she can rant and rage. That’s how it should be. I just wouldn’t mind being listened to once in a while.


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