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What if we gave a gift?

Carlotta Cerri

What if we gave our children a gift?

If we read one more book in the evening before going to sleep.

If we gave them that extra 30 minutes to put their shoes on themselves.

If we stopped and asked them questions about a drawing they've just done.

If we decided to leave the restaurant without a grudge if it's not working out.

If we cooked dinner together - with frozen pizzas as plan B if it doesn't work.

If we didn't care if they say “hi, thank you and sorry” if it doesn't come from them.

If we understood them when they have big emotions and don't know how to handle them.

If we did activities that really interest them and let go of "what we should do".

If we accepted their anger without anger.

If we gave them the benefit of the doubt.

What if we gave a gift to ourselves?

If we could find a way to dedicate 30 minutes to ourselves to be more balanced.

If we forgave ourselves when we make a mistake.

If we accepted the parent we are now before trying to change it.

If we told our partner what we need.

If we didn't take all the mental load on ourselves.

If we delegated without expectations—and with trust.

If we kept our cool that extra minute — or we walked away to lose it elsewhere.

If we weren't afraid to show our vulnerabilities, including to our children.

If we gave ourselves the benefit of the doubt.

A woman I respect a lot said that we could change the behavior of tomorrow's political leaders by changing the way we treat children (and I add: which starts with the way we treat ourselves).

Perhaps it is utopian. Yes, yes, it sure is utopian.

But I believe in it.

I believe that I am raising adults who will be an inspiration for somebody one day; adults that will take out the insect out instead of killing it; adults that will pick up the trash that others threw on the street; adults that will have empathy also towards those who struggle to manage emotions because they know how to manage theirs; adults that will communicate with respect despite everything; adults who will give their children those extra 30 minutes to put their shoes on.

Which is not little.

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