We can learn a lot from kids, and it’s amazing what they teach you. Each moment with them is precious. They want to be included in what the adults are doing. To show they can do it too. To know that you are proud of them when they succeed. Because in their minds, “If mommy and daddy can do it, so can I.”
I’ve seen this so much in my niece. Her eyes say so much. She’s always watching and observing everything around her. When my nephew and I were hanging out, she wanted to be in the middle of everything so badly. She saw or rather perceived that if it what we were doing was important to us, then it should be important to her too.
Thinking back to that day and how annoyed I was, I still can’t forget the look in her eyes. There was this sense of wonder when she saw me working on my laptop going over a few things with her older brother. For me it’s kind of sad, because in the moment I didn’t recognize what was really happening.
In reflection, I’ve come to recognize that we often we get so busy we miss these important events. They’re teachable moments. Micro-singularities that give us the opportunity to invest in a child’s life and if we miss them, it’s gone.
Kids are so much smarter than we understand. I’ve seen how intelligent all my nieces and nephews are, even at a young age, and I’ve always treated them as such. I don’t dumb things down for them, but rather, I explain what I’m saying. If they don’t understand right away, that’s okay. When the time comes, I’ll explain it again.
Our kids are tiny mirrors slowly grow int a reflection of us. But the ultimate image of who they become depends entirely on us and how we respond to them. It’s as beautiful as it is frightening. I say beautiful, because of how powerful an impact our influence can have. Frightening, because of the tremendous responsibility that this knowledge brings. Every action, every decision we make, has a profound impact on their little minds and if aren’t careful with such great responsibility, the consequences will speak for themselves.
They remember everything we say, see everything we do, taking it to heart with zeal and fervor. Yet, while the responsibility is great, the reward is even greater. Within them lies an unlimited potential whose determiner is solely based on us. So, while their capability is unlimited, we can shunt it. Our little mirrors are growing to understand who they are supposed to be through us, so every word and action matters.
Do we take note of what they feel is important to them, or do we shut them down? Do we share in their joys or shove them to the side because it doesn’t fit into our schedule?
When they come to us and say, “Look what I’ve done!” is the only response we offer them “Go away” or “That’s nice”? Or do we instead engage them and share in what they value?
Because in their minds they will only hear, “Mommy or daddy doesn’t think what I like is important, so I shouldn’t bother with it.” Worse, they might not feel important either. So they give up and stop coming to share what they love, or because they might not feel loved themselves.
I remember when my niece wanted me to come with her to check the mail (she’s three). She wanted to do it for two reasons:
1) Because her daddy, my brother, and she would do it and it seemed important.
2) Because she wanted me to come with her and be part of what she felt was important
It’s pretty profound when you break it down. And while she didn’t have the words to express it, she let her emotions and actions speak more than words ever could.
Along the way she would take my hand and jump crying out, “Splash! Splash!”. She kept insisting I do it with her and at first, I didn’t understand. But when I finally caught on, I was a little reluctant. It felt so silly.
But silly or not, it was important to her. She was in her imagination, pretending that it was raining, and jumping in water puddles. She kept insisting that I jump with her. At first, I barely budged. But as we walked back to the house, I gave in and played along.
But when I saw the look on her face. It was worth it. The joy of her uncle playing along and acting the fool meant everything to her. She was so happy that I was taking part in something she felt was important.
So since all of this came to pass, I’m intentional and make it a point to pay more attention to her. Because she’s definitely watching my brother and I. So, if I want to have a positive impact, then I need to be aware of those moments that matter to her. I think it’s something we owe to our kids if we are to help them grow up in this messed up world we live in.
There’s a saying I’ve read a few times, and I believe it’s very true: Teach a child in the way it should go and they will not wander far from the path.
It’s so very true. Because we don’t teach our kids right. Someone else will. We’re seeing the results of this everywhere. So many kids are being taught the wrong path. If we don’t pay attention and miss the Micro-singularities of Opportunity when they appear, someone else can easily come in, distorting the mirror of who they were meant to be. We’ll blink and when we open our eyes to see them, we may not recognize them at all.
In the end, these are just my thoughts. But I think it’s important to never miss a moment. They come so fast and our kids grow up so quickly. Carpe Diam, seize the day. Life is like a morning mist, here for a moment, then vanishing with the sun. Take every opportunity to make it great.
I’d love to hear your thoughts. If you would leave a comment. But as always, I pray you have a blessed week.