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Children are human too

February 6, 2012

In his book, Soft-Spoken Parenting, H. Wallace Goddard says, “Very often we judge children’s behaviors based on their effects on us. If their actions (or inactions) irritate [us], then [we see them as] malicious—or at least careless and irresponsible. [We may believe] they are deliberately trying to make [us] crazy! [It turns out] children’s motives are [usually pretty] pure. They are trying to find ways to get their needs met and enjoy life. They probably even want to do what’s right as much as they can. Sometimes their mistakes are simply the result of not knowing better, being tired, or feeling thwarted and frustrated. To treat them harshly for their humanness is counterproductive.” (p. 39)

In other words…

Sometimes we assume the worst about our children: that they are little devils trying to make our lives miserable and should be treated accordingly. In reality, they are simply humans trying to do their best, but they inevitably make mistakes–just like we do. A more helpful approach would be to remember their humanness with a sense of compassion.

Here’s how you can use this idea to have a better life…

The next time your child is irritating you, take a moment to consider their circumstances. Is your child tired or feeling frustrated about something? Is your child trying to complete a task that is beyond their knowledge or skill level? Try to find the reasons for your child’s behavior. When you understand that, you can better help them succeed.

To find out more…

about parenting, check out The Parenting Journey or See the World Through My Eyes programs at, follow us at or contact your local county Extension agent. You can also read Soft-Spoken Parenting.

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