Notes from a three-year-old

I am almost three years old, and full of energy.

I do not like it when you tell me what to do and how to do it. I am not a little girl anymore, I do not want to follow you, and yet I need you to protect me, to see me, to comfort me when the day has been too long, when I have had a bad dream or when I am feeling anxious.

Look at me: I have changed so much in these past three years, now I can dress myself almost completely, express my choices, my ideas; I have learnt to speak and I can understand perfectly what is happening around me.

I may not be able to articulate all my thoughts, but my head is full of questions, of observations. I see everything, and you cannot hide yourself, your moods, from me. I am wired to absorb. The way you speak, the attitudes and manners of people around me, the habits my parents have. Are they rude with me, are they soft and gentle when they explain to me?

The way you treat me is how I learn about the world and its possibilities. Are you being unfair and harsh? I will learn to expect unfairness and harshness.

Are you supportive and patient with me? I will learn to be encouraging and compassionate with the others, with myself. I am the mirror of your every word and action, the reflection of your beliefs and character. So please show me an inspiring example, so I can become the best of myself.

Be a strong adult with a sensitive heart, and I will be a balanced child, filled with life energy.

I may want to be independent, but do not mistake me. I still want your cuddles, my teddy bear and your reassuring gaze. Please observe me carefully, notice what I am not saying, even expect the contrary. I am not intending to drive you crazy, this is simply how I learn to be me. By testing and sometimes provoking, so I can see what the limit is and figure out that there is place where to stop.

I like to play in my world, knowing you are looking after me, that you are near me. Do not forget me, tell me that you love me. Because I am between two worlds, I would like to go on my own, while I still need your warm embrace. Tell me I am capable and you trust me. Tell me you are always here for me, and you will forgive me. And do not be concerned when I am being silly and seem to have forgotten how to behave appropriately – one step forward, two steps backwards… And tomorrow is a new day.

Discuss with me, explain to me – how could I understand what has never been clarified? It is not my fault if I guess wrongly… Take the time to be present with me, to connect, really. Look at me, question me, about my favourite game, my friends at pre-school, what I like and what I fear. I will surprise you, if you listen to me. Do not be afraid of me, I long to be seen and heard by you. It does not need to be complicated, just a moment on your laps or next to you, so I feel your loving presence and genuine interest in me. You will see me glow, and go on with my little life, rejuvenated and refilled with enthusiasm and curiosity!

Really, I do not want a lot of toys, I want my parents to show me how much they care about me, and trust me. I want them to guide me, and to discretely let me be.

If you can be all this to me, I will be the most incredible person you will ever see. You will be proud of me, and I, grateful to you: for being present for me, not too much, not too little. For holding my hand, as much as was necessary.

(Artist: Lucelle Raad)

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Caring for the Gifted Child

Mentoring for gifted children, and for parents

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