You Are Phenomenal.

“But I thought I was bad.” My seven year-old Harper remarked, when I recently shared an adorable video of her two-year-old self.

I looked right at her and said, “You are phenomenal. You always have been”

And she burst into tears.

I wrote this blog 5 years ago, but somewhere along the way, the message was lost.

My beautiful, seven-year old has been carrying the shame of being a difficult toddler, explaining why these last couple of years she has been our best listener and the most helpful.

She’s trying to right her “wrongs”.

Cue my broken heart.

I gently explained that we all experience times in our life that are more difficult than others but that doesn’t make us inherently “bad”. I’ve made it a point to share photo and video after video of her smiling and laughing, illustrating what a joyous child she has always been.

“It’s time we rewrite the story in your mind about the kind of kid you were.”

She smiled.

And we carry on.

New Leaf Parenting


A few years ago, I returned to my elementary school and visited my art teacher, a woman I deeply admired then and still do, now.  I teased, “I know I was difficult.” She tilted her head and looked at me genuinely perplexed.  After a momentary pause, she responded, “Lauren, I never thought you were difficult.  I thought you were extraordinary.  Sweet, fun and smart.”  I returned the tilted-head, genuinely-perplexed-look because all I ever remembered hearing about my childhood was how “difficult” I was.  To be remembered for all positive attributes was truly astonishing and it forced me to rethink the way I had always described myself as a child: difficult,  prone to emotional outbursts and epic temper-tantrums.

It’s not as if these things weren’t true.  They were.  I was often-times angry as a child.  So angry that I would bite my arms to release the tension.  So angry, my mother…

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