Friday, January 14, 2011

Seeing Your Child in a Positive Light

It was a long day. I had a lot of errands and meetings with others. I decided to squeeze in Target shopping to browse their toy clearance. (A frugal tip: hit the after-holiday clearance to stock your gift closet for the next year). We went to two stores.

At each store, Zon begged and pleaded to buy a particular doll. She carefully chose a pink one at the first store, then a multi-colored one (identical set, different color) at the second store. Each time I ultimately decided to buy the sets, but each time I felt a pang of worry in my heart and heard those all too common societal warnings in my head:

"You're spoiling her."
"You have to teach her that no means no."
"She's going to be a greedy, spoiled brat."
"She can't have everything in life. Best teach her sooner than later."

Even though every day I commit to unconditional parenting (also known as grace-based, Christ-based, positive, attached or peaceful parenting) I still heard those societal condemnations pinging around in my head. I did my best to ignore them, but I was brought to tears when we got home from our shopping.

My 2-year-old daughter had carefully picked out a doll for her little brother.

Do you see your child in a positive light or do you automatically assume the worst? I was given a precious reminder today that our children can be loving, generous people because they are loving, generous people, not because we force them into being loving or generous. I was reminded that I can’t take too much credit for the inner virtue and qualities of my children. I can be there to encourage, to model and to guide, but they are people with their own intentions.

© 2011 Guggie Daly

When You Thought I Wasn't Looking
- Unknown

When you thought I wasn't looking, I saw you hang up my first painting on the refrigerator, and I wanted to paint another one.

When you thought I wasn't looking, I saw you feed a stray cat, and I thought it was good to be kind to animals.

When you thought I wasn't looking, I saw you make my favorite cake for me, and I knew that little things are special things.

When you thought I wasn't looking, I heard you say a prayer, and I believed there is a God I could always talk to.

When you thought I wasn't looking, I felt you kiss me goodnight, and I felt loved.

When you thought I wasn't looking, I saw that you cared, and I wanted to be everything that I could be.

When you thought I wasn't looking, I LOOKED... and wanted to say thanks for all the things I saw when you thought I wasn't looking.


  1. I love this, what a precious child you have.

  2. Beautiful! What a sweetheart she is. Thank you for the reminder.

  3. That is so sweet. I love it. You have just reminded me I need to check out this adoption thing for Miss S' dolly. We hope they don't automatically give the doll a name as we have named it Lorna Margorie Bell for her. The first two names are the ones of the giver and the third is keeping with S' own name.

  4. Aww! That's awesome Guggie! I had that same thing happen yesterday while shopping at Goodwill... My second youngest wanted a toy puppy... Then the youngest wanted one, so she picked one out. Then we ended up walking out with 4 so the other siblings would have ones they like haha
    Thumbs up. You're not spoiling, you're letting them think of each other!

  5. What a wonderful short story! That was so sweet of her. Two happy munchkins and a happy mama. Perfect.