Suddenly your child is not who you think she was.
She used to seek your presence then suddenly she is more remote. She was once a calm and content child and suddenly she is unruly, wild and angry. She would fall asleep without a fuss and now she refuses to go to bed at all.
Our children change. As parents we cannot hold them prisoner to who we think they are. We must learn to let go of them, again and again.
Being a parent is a lot about knowing how to let go of your expectations, so you can welcome the child you have not yet gotten to know.
Our children develop, grow, mature. There is a pattern beyond the specifics of our own child, a sequence of developmental stages.
It helps to know these stages, to become familiar with the possible changes, and help orient to the early growth cycle of the human being.
Once a year–perhaps around your child’s birthday–take a moment to learn more about what typifies a child of her age. Learn what is happening in her body, in her heart, her mind, her soul. See where you feel she is.
You will find it easier to let go of your expectations. Your child will be less of a stranger to you. And you will feel the excitement of meeting her fully in her next stage of growth.