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Katy England Katy England
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edge staff writer


Edge Mom: Practice makes better

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You don't start out wanting to quit something. I mean, if that were the case, we would all still be crawling it's safer and easier than the balance and coordination needed for bipedal locomotion (er walking. I could just say walking). None of us would talk, use the bathroom correctly or tie our shoes all skills that are learned through painstaking practice. And you learn by falling down all the time.

A few short years ago, our kids couldn't use cups that didn't have covers on them. They couldn't dress themselves. I remember a time, not too long ago, when they couldn't communicate things they wanted in anything other than screams. And even as early as last year, tantrums were the go-to emotion they defaulted to when things weren't going their way.

It's funny, because it's easy to think that if you don't know something, you will never know it. But it's nice to be reminded that that's not the case. Not even close and that's one of the profound lessons we can all stand to learn again and again.

There is a temptation to do all of the things especially when you know you may need to do them three times over. But you must resist especially if you only have one or two kids at the same time. Resist!! I mean, if you can resist. There are exceptions to every rule. Like on days when one of us really can't drive them to school, you will see me putting socks and shoes on a certain someone's feet in lieu of threats of how the bus will not wait. Do what makes you sane. But life becomes so much less complicated when three little people can just pick out their own clothes and put them on with little to no parental intervention. It's like a mini-miracle.

Just yesterday, when one daughter went and brought another a toy she was missing, the one who received her stuffed animal smiled and cooed: 'That's so nice! Thank you!' which made me want to die of cuteness. Lest you think it's all sunshine and roses, sometimes the kids will also pretend to be Mom and growl at their stuffed animals to go upstairs and to 'not talk to me like that!'

You are what you practice. And judging from the state of my Facebook page, we could all use some practice on being respectful and being kind. You think I'm joking, but I'm not. Not even a little bit. Kids aren't born nice. It's something they learn, just like everything else. The more we allow ourselves to be mean, the meaner we will be. The more we practice being nice well, I think we all know what would happen. I've taken to practicing not swearing when someone isn't courteous to me while driving. Because the more I can do something when no one is watching, the more I will do it when I have three pairs of eyes soaking up your reaction. They will be kind if you are kind. It might take some doing, but it will happen.

On the other hand, they will yell if you yell. And when they start using Facebook and all the technology at their disposal they will act in the manner in which they have practiced.

So the next time you feel like ripping into someone on social media, or flipping someone off for cutting you off on the road, practice being nice. You won't always get it but that's OK, we're all learning.


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