How To Let a Child Be or Why Being Distracted Doesn’t Mean Naughty

How To Let a Child Be or Why Being Distracted Doesn’t Mean Naughty

Future comedian?!
Happy, healthy development!

Does your child constantly do something that you find yourself always telling them not to do?

Have they a habit their teacher regularly discusses with you?

Perhaps these behaviours, habits, idiosyncracies are not things we should be knocking out of them.

What if these are the seedlings of their own unique gifts?

I read the post below on the website of ‘A Mighty Girl‘ and I absolutely love it. It is a reminder that the child who ‘fidgets’ could be destined to be a dancer. The child who ‘drifts away’ could be a great philosopher. And the child who is ‘distracted in groups’ could have the gift of observation. I read a similar story a little while ago and it made me reassess why I was berating my children for some of their individual habits. The realisation that some of those things were things they needed to do, were part of them, are how they function, are what make them unique was a revelation and a freedom – for them and for me. Let the observer observe, let the dancer dance……..

With love & best wishes,
Mum, Chief Sipper & Babycup Founder

From ‘A Mighty Girl’ :

This beautiful reflection by Rachel Macy Stafford is timely as children start back at school: “My daughter handed me her school progress report. Although it displayed a steady stream of positive check marks, there was one check mark standing dejectedly alone from the rest.

‘How am I doing, Mom?’ my child asked with a level of maturity that did not match the small disheveled person gazing up at me with smudged eyeglasses that teetered on the tip of her nose. With her small finger, she pointed to her teacher’s neatly printed words next to the lone check mark.

It read: Distracted in large groups. But I already knew this. I knew this long before it was written on an official report card. Since she was a toddler, this child has offered astute observations of the world around her.

After pointing out all the positives on the progress report, I told her what was written. Upon hearing the news, she gave a tiny, uncertain smile and shyly admitted, ‘I do look around a lot.’

But before my child could feel one ounce of shame, one iota of failure, I came down on bended knee and looked her straight in the eye. I didn’t want her to just hear these words, I wanted her to feel them. This is what I said:

‘Yes. You do look around a lot. You noticed Sam sitting off by himself with a skinned knee on the field trip, and you comforted him.

You noticed Banjo had a running nose, and the vet said it was a good thing we brought him in when we did.

You noticed our waitress was working really hard and suggested we leave an extra good tip.

You noticed Grandpa was walking slower than the rest of us so you waited for him.

You notice the beautiful view every time we cross the bridge to go to swim practice.

And you know what? I don’t ever want you to stop noticing because that is your gift. It is your gift that you give to the world.’

As I watched my daughter beam with the glow of acceptance, I realized her approach to life had the power to change the world.

You see, we are all just waiting for someone to notice — notice our pain, notice our scars, notice our fear, notice our joy, notice our triumphs, notice our courage.

And the one who notices is a rare and beautiful gift.

Let us all be Noticers today.”

Stafford, who runs the blog The Hands Free Revolution, recently released a wonderful new book, “Hands Free Mama: A Guide to Putting Down the Phone, Burning the To-Do List, and Letting Go of Perfection to Grasp What Really Matters!” — to learn more, visit

For several excellent empathy-building books for preschool and early elementary-aged children to help them become “noticers”, and many other categories too, check out the recommendations at

With heartfelt thanks to Rachel May Stafford & A Mighty Girl for sharing this inspiring story. For more Hands Free inspiration visit