Please be glad that I’m growing up, even though I am doing my separating by acting contrary and stubborn and by saying no thirty-seven hundred times a day.
Please let me continue to be dependent on you even though I act very independent and say, “I don’t want you.” I still need to be held some and protected.
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Please let me feel that independence is safe by watching me and protecting me even when I am insisting on doing things myself.
Please have a few sensible rules and enforce them. This will provide a nice, firm wall against which I can say, “No” and “You can’t make me!” Please enforce them anyway. That will help me feel secure and not be scared that when I say, “I won’t!” or start to think for myself, you might go away and leave me.
Please, when you request that I pick up my toys, insist that I do that. If you manipulate me into doing things, I won’t need to learn to think. And if you force me, I won’t have the chance to learn to think.
Please don’t be afraid of my anger. I have to experiment with my anger and try out different ways of expressing it. Then I find out how you respond. I especially don’t want to end up afraid of my own anger. You help me a lot when you watch and listen to my anger in a very matter of fact, accepting way, and don’t let me hurt myself or others.
Please demand that I think about what I am feeling. I will be crippled if I grow up believing that I can’t think and feel at the same time. It won’t help me if I believe that when I am mad or scared I can’t think. Those are the times that I will need to think most clearly.
Please expect me to start taking other people’s feelings and wants into account. Do this even though I say, “I don’t care!” when you tell me Susie feels bad because I broke her truck. And please don’t ask me to take care of YOU. If you want me not to run in the street, tell me to do it for my safety – for ME. Don’t tell me that I make YOU worry. I don’t even know what worry means. If I am making you do that, I might get so scared that I won’t have time to practice resisting and separating.
Sometimes I’m not very sure about what I need or think or want, so please encourage me to know those things. I’m sure that I can figure it out if you push me a little and have faith in me.
Please help me to learn how to think and to say, “No” and to handle my anger now, while I am still little enough for you to protect me.
And please love me and hold me when I want to be held. I love you.