family life

Listen to the mustnt’s

I know that kids need boundaries. They can’t bite each other and write all over their bed covers. They can’t say things sarcastically and expect someone to eagerly listen to them. They can’t drink juice while they’re practicing piano or leave their guitar on the hallway floor.

They might have an independent, orderly approach to their life, but they don’t have freedom to organize other’s lives around them…aka be bossy. They won’t decide vacations, or even always meal plans. They won’t decide on their allowance, or if they get an allowance. So I kinda feel for them in their limitations. They hear “no” endlessly. They have to rethink their natural inclinations constantly. Yet, you probably wouldn’t think that these thoughts crossed my mind if you were a fly on my wall. You’d think I took a sick kind of thrill in correcting or laying down boundaries.

I believe they’ll learn through those boundaries–how to deal with others, how to care for their things, how to do a lot of things. And still though, I want them to hear the message that they’re not entirely limited. I wish them the world of possibilities. To that end, I dedicate this poem to my four:

“Listen to the mustn’ts child,

Listen to the don’ts,

Listen to the shouldn’ts

The impossibles, the won’ts

Listen to the never haves

Then listen close to me,

Anything can happen, child,

Anything can be!”

July 2013 035July 2013 033

6 thoughts on “Listen to the mustnt’s

  1. I am mostly certain the poem is by Shel Silverstein … a long time favourite and parental battle cry …

Leave a Reply to Toni Cancel reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.