I was traveling recently and like many times before, my phone made a special sound.
It was the sound that goes off when a photo or video of my son is uploaded to a shared iCloud folder.
I naturally pulled my phone out of my pocket to excitedly see the new photo that had been uploaded.
But as soon as the photo below popped up on my phone I immediately paused.
Nothing was wrong, but in that single instance my 12-year old self took over. This is the version of me that sometimes wished he’d had more friends to play with and didn’t spend so much time along.
Now that I look back on it, it’s crazy how quickly I interpreted this photo. My mind immediately felt sorry for my son because he looked lonely.
Yes, that’s where I went.
The fascinating thing though is I asked my wife what she thought of the photo and she seemed to think he looked curious and was simply observing things. And the simple reality was that he was surrounded by tons of other kids and was having a blast.
The Best Way to Screw Up Your Kid
We all view the world through different lenses, and it’s a pretty reliable fact that our childhood impacts how we see the world and certain scenarios. It’s impossible for that not to be so.
Kids are innocent. Their view of the world is wide open and full of possibility.
The best way to screw up your kid is to push your fears, stereotypes and just about anything else on them. “Just be” is the absolute best thing we can do as adults.
My son wasn’t lonely. He wasn’t feeling left out. He wasn’t scared. He wasn’t any of the things I dreamed up in my head.
It’s important as parents not to let our crazy little narratives impact our kids. Because, yes, we have plenty of crazy narratives. 🙂