I experienced the educator equivalent of “Oh! You are a doctor? So…I have this rash….” Sitting in my optometrists office, the very nice and clearly exhausted doctor was talking about his 2 ½ and 3 ½ year old kids. He was marveling at how constantly they can fight and how the older one can seem so logical and mature at some moments and then do something completely…well….three the next.
I get it, my son has been going through a “stage” that involves MUCH testing of my patience. So I listened and smiled as he spun through a few examples.
“Well” I finally said “It doesn’t help in the moment when you are frustrated. But it is good to remember that you probably have shoes that have been on this earth longer then she has.”
He stopped, blinked, then smiled and admitted he’d been leasing his car for longer then she’d been in his life. And you know what? I bet he still doesn’t know all the settings in that car, so he should definitely forgive himself for not understanding a three year old human being.
As parents and caregivers we have to give ourselves a break and remember that these kids are still so new on the planet. We can’t expected to know them and they can’t be expected to know the rules and expectations completely. All we can do is keep writing (and re-writing) the manual and trying our best.