I’ve written before about the struggle I’ve had with finding things to do with my son over the summer. He’s just a tad picky. At least, that’s how I’ve felt at times. But getting frustrated and feeling hopeless about the situation did absolutely nothing to help.
I was stuck and changing my attitude and outlook was the only way out.
Obviously, trying to force the usual, standard activities that other kids enjoy and then repeatedly hitting my head against the wall, wondering why he wouldn’t just like them was not working for anyone.
Lou is definitely an individual. Even at three and a half, he has very strong opinions.
- He knows what he likes and what he does not.
- He knows what feels right to him and what he will not and cannot tolerate.
- And as much as he loves to laugh and joke and have fun, he is constantly, unwaveringly true to himself.
Which are actually really strong, admirable qualities.
So while it has been a challenge and lots of trial and error to find things that make him happy, my son remains my constant teacher.
Here are just a few of my lessons so far this summer:
- Everyone is different, kids included – embrace it!
- In the midst of frustration or worry, just “be”.
- Don’t miss the good parts!
That’s one of the great things about the world we live in, there are so many differences and so many possibilities. It is a little trickier to figure out what works for him when dealing with a toddler who doesn’t have the communication skills that adults do but this is where patience and understanding in big doses work wonders.
Even though at times, I wanted to just say forget it and tune out, I know Lou is trying to figure things out as much as I am and for that reason, he needs me to be even more present. The reality is, I don’t have to have all the answers or always know what to do, I don’t even think that’s possible! He just has to know that I’m here no matter what and he is ok.
That’s the other thing with getting too frustrated or stressed out, those same feelings can cause me to shut down in such a way, I almost don’t notice when things are working or my son has found something he really enjoys.
And that’s the whole point!
Once I was able to let go of trying to figure out why he wouldn’t just start liking all the typical things people do in the summer, things got a whole lot easier. And finally, I started noticing some of the simple, little things he does enjoy.
Like finding bugs
Whether they are dead or alive
Throwing rocks and making splashes and ripples in the water
And from the picture at the top of this post, going out for ice cream in the middle of the day. And that is one thing we can definitely agree on.
I’ve been making it a point each evening at bedtime to let my son know what a great day it was and how much fun I had with him. I want him to always know how loved he is. What he doesn’t know yet is how much I appreciate everything I’m learning from him. But when he’s older, I will tell him about this as well.
And how he reminded me not to miss out on all the good parts.