|Little K on the swing.|
You walked up with a friend, both pushing strollers. You were chatting as you unloaded your kids, about the weather and the park. Your kids were being kids and exploring the strollers they just got out of before toddling over to the sand. You wondered out loud, in my direction, about teaching empathy. How can I teach my son that he has to share and that her feelings might get hurt? He doesn't like when people touch his stroller so why should he just touch hers? you asked.
I smiled. I said to keep talking to him. That empathy is a hard emotion.
You continued to tell me that you read all sorts of books about adoption but none about parenting. How would you know if you were doing it right.
That's when I let you in on the secret. The secret that all parents learn. None of us, not one, knows what we're doing. We don't. We try one thing and if it's works we celebrate and keep on keeping on. If it doesn't, we try something else. One thing will work for the first kid but not for the next. One thing will work when the kid is 2 but not when they're 3.
You're a good parent because you care. You're a good parent because you want your kid to learn to care. Please keep doing what you're doing.
To the mom at the park: you are a good mom and you're doing a great job.