Kids will be kids

Did the very best reader at school; one of the teacher’s pets hit another kid on the playground?  Well, I cannot help myself; it makes feel just a little bit happy. (Don’t worry both kids were ok and it was all handled well by the teachers)

It turns out nobody is perfect.  Remembering this makes me feel just a little bit better.

Do you ever enjoy hearing about the struggles of neuro-typical children?

Well, I guess I am admitting that sometimes I do.  It is not that I want any child to struggle or to be in pain or distress.

It is just that it reminds me that all children struggle and all children misbehave, whine and act generally disagreeable.  All kids get anxious and all kids overreact. All kids get impulsive at times and do not know what to do about intense feelings.

All children have temper tantrums.  All children (and let’s face it many adults) get unreasonable when they are tired at the end of the day.

And it is helpful to remember that sometimes.  My complicated “special needs” kid is sometimes just being a kid.

If my daughter is having a particularly hard day sometimes I can start to panic and worry.  I read into every whine and every over-reaction.  I, like many parents of quirky kids, envision the worse possible outcome. In psychotherapy we call this catastrophic thinking. I write more about this here:

Recently I was out with a group of friends.  These are my buddies.  These are mommies that I met when my oldest was an infant and I attend a group for new moms.  We connected back then and have made it a point to stay connected even as our children have outgrown play-dates in the back yard, our schedules are crazy and we live in different towns and states.  I love them because they have known my children forever and they tell it like it is. They do not gloss over the potty training frustrations, the homework dramas and the tantrums.

Over Mexican food and margaritas we updated each other on our lives and on our children.  We ooh and ahhed over pictures and marveled at how big and beautiful all our children have become.  We shared recent struggles and challenges.

Out of our little group of five, I am the only mom with a child with an IEP.   I am the only one with a “complicated” child with a learning disability.

It turns out, surprise, that none of these parents are raising the perfect child.  Their children get frustrated and impulsive, have trouble with homework and throw temper tantrums.

Now I am not saying that our quirky children are just having a hard day when they struggle with issues like learning disabilities, social pragmatics, sensory issues, and attention and anxiety.  These are real issues and need real supports and interventions.  But if things are going relatively ok and you have the right interventions in place then we need to remember that not every day will be a great day.

The question becomes is the general momentum forward?  Is this child getting the right supports?  Are they in the right environment?  Do they have opportunities to shine and show their strengths?

If things are generally going well then maybe we do not have to panic when our quirky child has a fight on the playground or whines at dinner.  Because it turns out, that is what kids do. A lot.


4 Responses to “Kids will be kids”

  1. Ann Becker-Schutte Says:


    One of the things that I most appreciate about my group of “mom friends” is the fact that, when we share our parenting struggles, I can take a deep breath. The internal dialogue that kicks up when my kids act out can take the night off, because I am reminded that, as you say, “that’s what kids do.” Thanks for the important reminder.


  2. Kathy Morelli,LPC Says:

    Hi Allison – nice share, and I love that you are brave enough to say none of us are raising perfect kids or has a perfect life! Warmly, Kathy

  3. Allison Says:

    Thanks, Kathy. It helps me to remember that no kid is perfect :)

  4. Allison Says:

    Thanks, Ann. Mom friends are the best!

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