A Human Becoming

by Scott Noelle

In a product-oriented culture, there’s a tendency to “productize” and “package” people. We often forget that a human being is a living process — a “human becoming.”

Children are especially dynamic — often visibly different from one day to the next — and no two children develop precisely the same way. This can be a challenge for us when we’ve been conditioned to “need” the predictability (read: controllability) of static products.

Many parent-child struggles can be avoided simply by allowing children to be different than they were the previous day, or even the previous minute! A toddler may “hate” peas at the beginning of the meal and “love” them by the end of the meal, provided the parent doesn’t pronounce the child a pea-hater in the interim.

Improve Your Groove

Today, be mindful of the way you talk about your child. Note that labels tend to productize. You can avoid labels by focusing on the process. For example, “he’s a fussy eater” becomes “he’s figuring out his tastes.”

Especially avoid “always” and “never” statements like “she never brushes her teeth willingly.” Someday she will. :)

Originally published on 2006-10-06
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