Recently one of my children did something I thought was really out there. It made no sense to me and I was completely baffled as to why anyone would do such a thing.
Until a quiet moment in which I remembered doing the exact same thing as a child! Ummm, okay, thanks God for that reminder!
Talk about humbling.
I wish I could tell you what it was, but I don’t want to embarrass a certain child, so I’ll just let you in on some of my own eccentricities:
- My Dad tells me that we would have lovely time outside, unless I saw an ant. Then I’d scream and make him carry me! I was deathly afraid.
- I genuinely could not fall asleep at night. I’d lie there forever… Then I’d walk around the wooden bed frame, trying to keep my balance. I was so bored!
- I really hated peas. Eating them was one of the worst punishments I could think of.
- I still have no idea what possessed me to write Michael Jackson’s name, with permanent marker, on a few items in my bedroom. I really don’t know. It seemed like a good idea at the time.
Remembering these things gives me more compassion. It helps me see children as real people with real fears, thoughts, and feelings.
Does any of this ring true for you?
Do you remember:
- How much courage it took to tell the truth when you knew it meant disappointing your parents or getting in BIG trouble?
- How you didn’t mean track mud through the house when you ran in to tell of an exciting discovery? Truly, you didn’t.
- How nervous you felt when meeting new people?
- How that woolen sweater was so very scratchy?
- How hard it was to pack up when it was time to go?
- How you’d rather do most anything that eat food you didn’t like?!
- How much a kind and encouraging word meant?
- How catching your parents looking at you with happiness warmed your heart and soul?
As adults we often think life was so easy when we were a kid. In many ways that is true, we were free from much responsibly, but in all honesty, life was still a struggle. Constantly growing, changing, and learning is hard sometimes!
Remembering these difficulties helps us be thoughtful toward our children and to consider our requests carefully.
Kids are more than obedience machines.
They deserve respect and consideration.
I’m not saying they shouldn’t obey. Of course they should! It’s just important to remember that training with love and understanding goes a long way. We must make great efforts to work on the heart and not focus on outward obedience alone.
Do you think remembering what it was like to be a child can help you mother more effectively today? How so?
And, if you feel compelled, I’d love to hear something quirky you did as a child.