I’m complaining about complaining

May 4, 2012

Dear Max

Whenever I complain about traffic, or a cracked nailpolish, or having to choose from a long restaurant menu, I joke that these are all high-class problems And I think it’s okay to complain, but it’s necessary to keep a balance and keep a perspective, which is tough – many adults don’t really know how to do this, or else there is so much negativity, and for whatever reason, very little positive. Twitter, Facebook and blogs are great forums for negativity, lamenting and high-class venting, and that’s okay for others.

You’re *only * two and a half, so your perspective is unique to your stage, ie low tolerance and selfish and you’re *permitted * to cry about waiting long for the Shaun the Sheep credits to finish rolling, or when the digger bit falls off your truck. These are real “problems” to you, you will voice your frustration and sadness, and then move on once you’ve been distracted or satisfied.

But somewhere down the line, when you’re ready, I’m going to try teach perspective. And while I’ll try not to pull the famous sentence “don’t complain about your food – there are children starving”, I will strive to help you see a bigger picture, to help you see the good. And I’ll try not to undermine, and I think it’s important to ride a small wave of irritation and ire, but see it for what it is. Is it awful to wait two minutes for service when you can afford to eat a restaurant? Is it tragic that you’re bored at work when thousands are unemployed? Is it worth complaining about chipped nailpolish when you have 38 other shades to choose from? (this one is for me).

And if you do complain or find negativity, at least balance it out – say a nice word, think a good sentiment, praise something or someone.

Right. I’m getting off my high horse. And out the mommy pulpit.



Feature image via Iamthemama

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  • Cath Jenkin

    Waha! Don’t be so afraid of it. I never realised I had done the whole “you know, there are children who don’t have TV/are starving/don’t get to go to school” vibe, until…

    One evening, we were out at dinner with my nieces and C turned around to my youngest niece, who said she wasn’t hungry, and spent twenty minutes berating her for not eating her food. I’ve never heard a more compelling argument for gratitude. And C then took the leftovers and gave them to the carguard as we left. I was ridiculously proud X

    May 4, 2012 at 8:39 am Reply
  • Emy

    One night my daughter (3) had a tantrum because her favourite pink bedding was in the wash and she had to sleep under her no-so-favourite pink bedding. I tried to get to calm down and eventually told her that she should be grateful, some children dont have warm beds to sleep in.


    I then had to sit through an hour of her crying for the children without the warm beds.

    May 4, 2012 at 9:05 am Reply
  • Lovely Light

    Well put. Theory of mind and perspective take time to develop, but if parents don’t teach empathy and understanding of others lives, who will?

    May 4, 2012 at 10:27 am Reply
  • Cat@jugglingactoflife

    So true…

    May 4, 2012 at 1:22 pm Reply
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