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My six-year old friend made her bed but was unhappy with it. She sets her standards high. You know what I am talking about, it was wrinkly and not so smooth and the way you might expect a bed to look if a six-year old made it. Bravo for making your bed at all, little one!

It’s a golden chance! I see this as a great opportunity in that rather than denying the problem and saying the bed looks beautiful, a parent can use the moment to acknowledge the girl’s feelings and concerns. A parent can offer, “It looks great to me, but if you want I can help you make it the way you like.” This makes the two into a team out there facing the world together. This way we show children the role we can take in their lives, and how we can be in their world with them into the future. It teaches respect for a child’s interpretation of her world. You do not have to be the one who is always right. Or smarter. Or better. A child’s view can be correct, too.

Her opinion, her self-evaluation (I didn’t do it as well as I wanted to) is valid, and a parent can show support for that by helping. It is the growth of self-awareness, the growth of self-esteem, and an avenue for respect between mother and daughter, all folded up in this one small moment of a crumpled bed.

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