Skillful teachers and parents remember that there are two ingredients in every interaction with our kids: love and action.
Last weekend in working with a group of early childhood caregivers, the group spent quite a bit of time discussing this and many of us shared some of our experiences as young parents. We love our kids--period. When those kids are newborns love and need always rules the day--kids cry and we figure out what to do. Food, comfort, safety...we provide what big people give little people.
At some point in that first year of life, though, a line between need and want starts to materialize. At first--we all agreed--we didn't know there was any change and in all honesty, it didn't matter. We just keep cuddling those littles and they keep developing a world view that life is good. Things are as they should be! In the next couple years, however, it becomes vital that we become skillful at clarifying that line between needs and wants for ourselves and for our kids. We all require limits to regulate needs vs. wants. I'm even starting to handle this myself ;)
Today, my intention is to think a bit more about that first ingredient of love. Today, my hope is that that love guides toward two things: 1)empathy for the smaller (or bigger!) person in front of me and 2)action the kid needs me to take to set the limits we so desperately need...but definitely don't always want.
After all, we're both human, right?