Becoming a Better Mother: Remembering what it was like to be a Child

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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.

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  1. I spent a great deal of my childhood at my grandparent’s home, due to some family problems. My grandparent’s were known in their neighborhood as “Mr. & Mrs. Rose” because they raised dozens of BEAUTIFUL rose bushes. When I was little I used to take scissors outside & cut several different colored roses, pull all the leaves off each rose head, run the hose around the house, steal Grandma’s wooden spoons & I would stir up “Perfume” for everybody. I distinctly remember forcing my grandma to wear it. Lol. Sometimes it DID actually have a nice fragrance, but it generally just made a big mess.

  2. It always helps me to remember what it was like as a child, especially when my kids are hurt or sick or worried. It helps so much to be able to empathize what they are truly feeling and not be impatient with the circumstances.
    Two quirks I can think of: First, I was obsessed with that show on TV with the paramedics. Emergency! or something like that. I even drew a bright green EKG readout on the hardwood floor in my closet. Don’t know why I thought that was a good idea….
    Second, my good friend lived a couple of doors down, and we used to play in the bathroom in the basement making all sorts of “concoctions”. We thought we were some kind of genius scientists and inventors or something. Really we were just mixing soaps and lotions, and other gunk together and making horrific messes. My mom was so totally cool about it though. We were constantly down there making “concoctions”. LOL.
    Thanks for the fun trip down memory lane! 🙂

    1. Shell,

      Love the concoction making. How fun. I can only imagine all the inventive thinking you were doing. I love those kind of games 🙂

      Your TV show obsession sounds hilarious too. Glad I’m not the only one who drew or wrote things and now wonders why!

      The TV show reminded me of something so silly, I’ll be embarrassed, but I’m going to tell you anyway 🙂

      In Australia, there was a show called Young Talent Time. It might be similar to the Mickey Mouse Club you all used to have here. Anyway, at the end of every episode they would sing, “Close your eyes and I’ll kiss you. Tomorrow I’ll miss you…” (All My Lovin’ a Beetles song). I would cry every time!! Even back then, I couldn’t figure out why I was doing that. I’d beg to watch the show and promise my parents I would not cry . . . but when the song came on, I would. Every time. It was so frustrating!

  3. Remembering what it was like to be a child is such a good reminder for me as a mom! Like you said, sometimes it’s easy to forget how hard childhood was because now it seems like it was SO EASY! Love this post.

    You were deathly afraid of ants? I was deathly afraid of grasshoppers. I grew up on a ranch, and occasionally a grasshopper would sneak into our vehicles. Most of the time, these little monsters wouldn’t be discovered until we were driving down the road, at which point I would scream and Dad would have to stop the car and remove the creepy thing. Ewww. They’re still not my favorite of God’s creation as you can tell.

    1. Ha, ha, ha! I can picture it all now.

      Grasshoppers really are creepy little things 🙂 And they jump! At least ants don’t jump!

      When my kids yell in the car like that I feel like I’m going to get into an accident! Your Dad was nice to stop and get it out for you (or else he just needed the yelling to stop).

      Thanks for sharing (and making me smile).