«Dear Mom, Dear Dad, 💌
I decided to write this letter to you so you can understand me better. I am still very young and immature, despite you seeing me as a “big boy” or a “big girl.”
Your expectations of me are cruel and unfounded. I know much less about the world than what you project onto me. I learn constantly about myself, my genuine preferences and the world around me by experimenting, liking and disliking things, changing my mind and making a big mess.
No matter what my age is today, I am asking you to remember that my brain will constantly grow and develop until I am 25 years old. Also, speaking of my brain, I am asking you to accept, based in neuroscience, that I can’t think or reason when I feel angry, jealous, disappointed, sad or scared. Stop lecturing me (or worse, yelling!) when I cry or when I throw a fist. I literally can’t hear you, let alone follow your “instructions”. In those hard moments, simply hug me, hold me, listen to whatever I’m saying and don’t take it personally.
Above all, I need to be understood, seen, soothed and to feel safe. From you, I need patience, playfulness, laughter, gentle guidance, firm and kind limits, non-judgment, full acceptance, and presence.
Last but not least, I have a favor to ask: please take care of yourself in all ways possible. It is a crushing burden on my young shoulders to carry the responsibility of making you happy. Because I can’t ! Nobody can. Only you. Heal your past hurts, follow your dreams outside of parenting and domestic duties, have fun for yourself and let me, your child, model my own happiness after seeing you happy first.
P.S.: Thank you for doing the unglamorous work of cleaning, cooking and driving me around. I am very grateful.
Your innocent child,