“Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.” — Anonymous
I recently read a article about seeing our children not only as equals, but as teachers. I love the concept of treating children as though they are certified humans, with rights and freedom from physical harm, and the ability to teach others what they carry within them innately. Yes, I believe that children have the ability to teach adults how to live, be happy, and treat others.
My Son Is Really the First Person In My Life to Accept Me for Who I Am. My husband is a close second, but I know I got lucky there. At four years old, I could already read a page from my son’s book on how to grace others when they make mistakes, change my attitude when I could choose happiness, and make people laugh instead of criticize them. It feels really amazing to be seen as flawless in the eyes of someone else, and I don’t mean that I don’t err, because I do that daily. But it really doesn’t phase him and he forgives and forgets each night at bedtime, allowing me to learn from my own mistakes without a ‘stern talking to’ or ‘time out’. Obviously, children need redirection because they are young and learning self control. I do know that when we accept them for who they really are, who God made them to be, then this redirection comes from within. It comes from the heart, a place of mutual respect and guidance.
My Son Offers More Grace Than Any Adult I Know. Criticism is a relationship killer and it’s downright rude most of the time. It’s such a reflection of the criticizer’s own inner turmoil, that it rarely has anything to do with the behavior, action, or decision at hand. I make mistakes, many of them, and my son graces me with encouragement almost to a fault. When I ruined his picture frame for Father’s Day, he told me I was “really good at painting, Mommy”. When I yelled at him for bad behavior when our friends were over, he reminded me that “I am tired when I’m sick, too”. He’s gentle with my heart and he’s an encouraging kid. I could sure learn a thing or two from his knee jerk reaction to be kind and loving, even during high stress situations.
My Son is a Lover of Life and All Things Happy. I’m most proud of my little son for finding joy in just about anything. Children do harness this magic inside of them to see the positive in things and run full speed ahead. He’s energetic, I know. Maybe more than you would be comfortable with. I know. But when I see him laughing and screaming and jumping with excitement over digging for worms, I know that he’s on the right path. It might get loud, dirty, and even a little annoying, but it’s laced with the secret to life: happiness. He chooses happiness every single day. Just like adults, I’m guessing happiness is a clear indication of how well they are processing their emotions and ‘letting go of the negativity’ on a daily basis. Happiness isn’t always a smile, mind you. My son can throw abysmal tantrums, like any child. It’s his ability to self soothe and walk it off that amazes me.
My Son Knows How to Keep it Simple. I’ve asked him what is the most important thing, at the end of the day and his answer is: Mommy and Dadddy. He’s right, in the sense that all of us have to go out into the world baring our true selves and we are open to criticism and the potential to make mistakes. But at the end of each and every day, if the few people in our lives very closest to us are healthy and happy, then all is well with the world. Our world, anyways. We can watch the news and become upset, pick a fight with our spouse because we are feeling criticized in our lives, read things that make us think there are things wrong with us or our children. We can do those things, or we can choose not to do those things. Our children choose to grab their favorite thing and head to bed, which is likely the smarter choice, once again. They end their day with simplicity, likely to start it that way again the next.
Are your children teachers in your life? Do you feel that they are wise, even in their youth?