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Don't Forget About the Quiet Child




Experts often talk about the wild, out of control child. They talk about how the outspoken, angry child is looking for attention and love from their parents. While this is often the case, what about the quiet, obedient child?


I was that quiet child. The child who didn’t get in trouble as I watched my sister stay in trouble. I was the child who got good grades and just wanted to make people proud of me. I was the child who did everything I could to be loved by my parents.


I was a child who stayed in my room and read books and did puzzles. If I wanted to attend dances and school events I did so by myself. I never asked anyone for help. I walked everywhere I needed to go because I didn’t want to inconvenience anyone. I created my own holiday traditions because I often spent them alone. I kept everything to myself and didn’t tell anyone how alone and sad I was.

I comforted my older sister when she was sad, angry and upset. I talked her out of suicide more than once, even though she was my constant abuser. I ran after my sister when her and my dad would fight, begging her to come home, even though she wouldn’t have done the same for me. I was the good child, the child who was expected to behave and keep her mouth shut. I couldn’t express myself. On the occasion that I did say how I felt, I would be talked down to and dismissed.


I can remember having a fight with my dad’s girlfriend, telling her that I needed my dad in my life. I remember telling her I was twelve years old and needed him around more than she did. She told me they were forming a relationship and needed the time together. Eventually I was told to shut up and to behave. I learned not to speak the truth and to take what came to me. I was the quiet child, the child who rolled with the punches.


Don’t forget to check on the quiet children. They need love and attention too. They’re doing their best to make everyone else happy which means they have forgotten about themselves. The quiet children don’t think their opinions matter, and they don’t think they will ever be good enough for love. They struggle to find their identity because they throw themselves into everyone else. The quiet children can become amazing people once they realize their potential. Once they stop looking to others for approval, they can become the most capable person around.


To all of the quiet children in the world who are scared, lost, and alone, know that you are meant for great things. You are meant to change the world with your kindness and wisdom. Look into yourself and call on the strength that has always been there. The strength that you used to support everyone else. Now is your time to shine. It’s your time to be the person you were always meant to be.

Together, us quiet children will raise children who won’t hurt the way we did. Those children will be even stronger than us and they will know what they are capable of. We will change the world one generation at a time.

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