That's right. KEEP YO' MOUTH SHUT. (please ad lib your own colorful curse in place of the one you feel I would most likely place here)
This lesson applies for a bountiful number of reasons, but the most notable of them is to know that wonderful parents have really rotten kids, and really, super piss-poor parents end up raising Ivy League do-gooders.
HOWEVER. Life lessons are reserved for books and hindsight: this is real life, folks. And the one lesson that I, Megan, Uberest Uber Nanny of All of Time, most want parents to recognize is the following horse-pill to swallow:
Children are not soldiers. Indeed, the trouble with kids is that they are, in fact, tiny humans.
GASP you say. TYRANNY!
No, Grown Up People, not tyranny. Truth.
Children are real life people with real life feelings, thoughts, temperaments, and actions. They are independent in motivation and fear of consequence. Or lack thereof. Of all the many children I have encountered and the variety of parenting atrocities I have endured, the truest of troubles is the power struggle that arises when a parent clenches so tightly that a child is left with no choice but to crumble to the ground or fight back in resistence.
And what the hell kind of choice is that?
We, Grown Up People, are not here to brow-beat children into compliance or to raise them to be so afraid to fall out of step with the masses that they never discover their true self. It is not our job to shame a child for squishing the yellow Play Doh into the blue and jamming it through the green spaghetti stringer. And I know, that makes my skin crawl, too. But how can anyone look at a child and not see joy?
So stop it, fellow adults. Stop squashing the spirits of tiny humans that are merely in search of themselves.