When my daughter was 15 months old, she wasn’t talking. Her older brother started talking around 12 months, maybe before. I started to panic! A friend of mine was an early childhood specialist and asked me, “does she NEED to talk?” I was confused by her question, but she continued by asking, “when her brother asks for a cookie and gets one, does she have to ask or do you just give her one, too?” The more I thought, the more I knew she was right. I thought it was only fair that they each get a cookie or juice or whatever he asked for. She was just following along, cookies just dropping into her life, no need to speak. My friend said the solution was to make her talk. Make her ask for a cookie, don’t just give her one.
For the next two weeks, my baby girl was one frustrated little girl. I remember two weeks because it was hard on me, too. But looking back, two weeks is not that long. Oh, but to a 15 month old it is very, very long… Anyway, she did start talking and asking for her own cookie and juice. And talking leads to many other things, other than cookies. Talking is key…or I should say communication is key to relationships….something much greater than cookies.
How often do we experience stress when the cookies disappear from our lives? Maybe it is growing or stretching pains and we don’t realize it.
My daughter is 17 now. I reflected on this when she was just ten….and the trauma of two weeks working hard to get her cookie was long gone. Here’s what I wrote when she was ten:
“As far as I can tell, she has no long-term effects of that trauma. What I do know is she can talk! She is quite good at the talking these days. She is growing and maturing and talking about how she feels, her needs, her desires, her dreams. This is something I could have missed out on if I wasn’t willing to allow her to be frustrated.”
Now that she is 17….I can tell you….she has really blossomed and can communicate beautifully. It puts things in a perspective when we look back. Can we remember this in our lives now? What “cookies” have disappeared from your life? Are you able to keep some perspective and find the lessons…..looking for the greater things to come?
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