Let’s not assign motives to our children’s actions. Kids might be rushed, distracted, or trying so hard not to spill the milk, they spill it! Be open to the possibility that children are eager to please us, just as we’re eager to make them happy.

Guilty. I can remember the times I let my frustration with childishness boil over. Naturally I expected Noah, the oldest, to be a shining example of maturity at 4 years of age in a way I never expected Caitrin, the youngest, to be at the same age.

What gets in the way:

  • our exhaustion,
  • our unrealistic expectations,
  • and our tendency to get inside the heads of people who displease us.


One time when my little boy Liam, at age four, carried the milk jug to the table ready to pour his own glass of milk, I loaded up a reprimand. But my mother, his grandmother, saw what was coming and intervened quickly saying, “Look at him. Only four years on the planet. He still has so much to learn!” Instantly, I saw him through new eyes.

I walked calmly to his side, helped him support the jug, and allowed him to pour his milk. He beamed.

Naturally, it’s not only the milk that gets spilled in our children’s attempts to grow up and become competent human beings. They want to be skillful and happy. And they want us to be happy with them. It’s good to remember that.

This post is originally from Instagram and @juliebravewriter is my account there so come follow along for more conversations like this one!

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