In Little Town on the Prairie, Carrie Ingalls says, “There is no comfort anywhere for anyone who dreads to go home.”
And since my daughter is only two, it’s hard for me to imagine her ever dreading coming home.
Yet we’ve all seen it.
The teenager who knows all his home guarantees is a checklist of things to improve: his grades, his hygiene, the cleanliness of his room. He dreads the negativity, the constantly unmet expectations.
The adolescent girl who understands she’ll walk home from school and find no one to talk to, no one with whom to truly connect. She dreads the small talk, the silent dinners, the absence, the facade.
The child who sees his home as a battle zone rather than a respite. He dreads the chaos, the competition, the noise.
It’s highly doubtful their parents intended to create an unwelcoming atmosphere. They may not even recognize what has happened.
But intentions aside, the reality remains.
My prayer is that my intentions will meet reality. That though my parenting will be far from perfect, our daughter will find our home a place of affirmation, connection and respite.
And it starts now.
By seeing teaching opportunities rather than silly childlikeness.
By finding pleasure in what she finds pleasure in – even if it means getting out of my comfort zone.
By creating an atmosphere of loving support and gentle correction.
Because someday she’ll no longer be two. And what I want and what I say won’t matter nearly as much as the atmosphere I’ve created.
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