I have been working as a School Psychologist for 15 years now in a Preschool through High School setting. My degrees include a B.S. in Psychology, an M.A. in School Psychology and an Educational Specialist in School Psychology. My graduate program included courses in child development, academic and behavioral interventions, behavioral psychopathology, etc. Courses full of the information I would need to be an expert in understanding children and their behavior.
Let me tell you, when I walked into my first job at the ripe age of 23, I was an EXPERT in all things children. How they develop, how they behave, how to get them to behave, how to be a parent. I was ready to change the world. Until the world hit me in the face and said “You silly goose! You know nothing.” And I didn’t. Well, that’s not true. I knew some. But textbook learning is so different from real-life experience learning. I was definitely not an expert. And I learned quickly that children are individual little creatures with their own minds, their own temperaments, and their own agendas.
For the first few years on the job, I definitely had some ideas about what parents were doing or not doing that was hurting/ helping their children’s success. Looking back, I was such a judgmental little b—. What did I know about being a parent? Not much, it turns out.
Now that I am a parent of three children, one in middle school, one in elementary school, and one in preschool, I have learned that I was far from an expert when I first started out. I’m still far from an expert now.
Here are some lessons I have learned from having children that can’t be learned from a textbook:
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