Is that really how you treat your baby?
When my son was little, he was late on everything.
Late on being born.
Late on walking.
Late on talking.
Late on reading.
He is now 18. I’m happy to report that he has been born, walks, talks, and reads. Finally.
The birth wasn’t a picnic, but the rest of it he does really well now. He’s even going to college in the fall on a scholarship he obtained from his talking and reading skills alone.
Back when he was learning to walk, he’d take a step and fall back down. When that happened, we did not say, “Well, guess you’ll never walk! Might as well order up a Rascal!”
When he was learning to talk, he’d say meeehhhhh instead of Moo. At one point, that was one of only three words he could say. When he said it, we did not frown and yell “IT’S MOOO YOU DUMB BABY!”
When he was learning to read, he’d barely stammer through books that had just a couple words on each page. When that happened, we did not tell him, “Everybody else in your grade could read at this level 12 months ago!” We did not ask him, “What’s wrong with you!?”
Instead, we said things like, “Great job! You took a step!”
We called our mothers and said “The baby can say no AND mine now! And he makes cow sounds!”
If Facebook and iPhones had been a thing back then, we would have taken video of him reading an entire sentence of three letter words and posted it with a caption like “OUR SON IS A GENIUS. WE ARE RENAMING HIM EINSTEIN PULITZER NOBEL EMMY OSCAR REES.”
We pushed him further every time.
Now take two steps!
Say mom! Say dad!
Read this new book, since we’ve been reading that one for 80 consecutive nights!
I know that this is how you treat the children in your life as well. You celebrate their achievements, and you encourage them to keep going. You understand that they can’t go straight from a first step to a finalist on Dancing with the Stars. And you watch them get better at things the more they keep trying them.
Today, I want you to start thinking of yourself as your own baby.
Get angry with yourself for not doing things perfectly the first time.
Say unflattering things about your performance.
Compare what you’re doing to what other people are doing.
DO NOT BE MEAN TO YOUR BABY.
Get excited about your progress!
When you fall, have understanding!
But don’t let yourself off the hook, just keep getting up!
Call someone who’s proud of you and let them know what you’re accomplishing!
Give yourself the love, patience, and encouragement you need to thrive!
I know it’s cheesy. But no one is in your head but you. Act as cheesy as you want up there!
Subscribe to my email list to get an essay like this every week. I sincerely love writing you letters.