Parents – the World Over, We are the Same

Posted by in No-Cry Separation Anxiety

A few years ago I visited the beautiful country of Australia. Whenever I travel – no matter where I go – I am always amazed to see that parents act like … parents.

Even in those places when I cannot understand the language spoken between parent and child I can clearly understand the language of their actions. When a child falls, a parent kisses the boo-boo. When a baby cries, a parent will cuddle and croon. When a toddler tantrums, a parent will look embarrassed and disapproving. When a child wanders off, and then is found, the parent clearly demonstrates a mixture of relief and anger. When a child does something adorable or kind, you can watch the parent glow with pride.

AlikeParentsKitGrandpa

Kit and Grandpa

With each of the No-Cry books I work with a magnificent group of Test Mommies and Test Daddies – for each book, over 200 of them from all corners of the world! They represent all different kinds of families!

In some ways they are very different from each other, but when it comes to their children they are all exactly, precisely alike:

  • They want to enjoy the parenting experience.
  • They want to raise happy, well behaved children who grow into successful adults.
  • They get frustrated and unhappy when their children misbehave.
  • They feel pressure from outside sources to do or be different from what they are.
  • They struggle with a balance between parenting, work and obligations.
  • Their children are the highest priority in their lives.
AlikeParentsShriyaGrandmaPaa-tti

Shriya and Grandma Paa-tti

I’ll leave you today with a sweet story that one of my Australian friends told me. She said that when her first child was a baby the extended family gathered for a holiday dinner. She put the baby down for a nap, but the little one soon began to cry. She immediately got up to go to the baby – and the advice began to pour in from all sides, causing her to stand confused and dumfounded in the center of the room: “Don’t go right to her, you’ll spoil her.” “Let her learn to put herself back to sleep.” “Crying won’t hurt her.” “She needs to learn to soothe herself.

And then, from across the table, her 91 year old grandfather, cleared his throat, and looked directly into her eyes as he said, “You don’t want her to think you don’t love her now, do ya child?

With that, this young mother was given permission to listen to her heart. She went to her baby then, and has been going to her ever since. Thanks to the wisdom of her grandfather who knew that when a baby cries, the right response is, well: Response.

I’m off to go hug my children – take a moment to hug yours, too.

~Elizabeth

Share: Do you have a fun story of advice from another generation of parents?

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