Wednesday, August 29, 2012

a few words about kids

The other day I was reading one of my favorite blogs, 71 toes.  I have been following this blog for a couple of years and I feel like I know Shawni and her 5 adorable kids.  Her blog is a recording of her day to day life.

I recently read a post about a motherhood from a retreat she went on.  She jotted down some key points from one of the speakers, and these points struck a chord with me.  Sometimes we see or hear things when we need to.  I felt like these words jumped out to me as a reminder.  The universe is amazing in the way it presents wisdom into our lives at the times when we need to hear it.  I wanted to share these words of wisdom for all you moms and dads out there, as I believe if it hit home with me then it might hit home with you as well.  Shawni's notes are in black and my comments are noted in green.  

Here they are:
  • Children value themselves to the degree they feel valued.
  • Of course we love our children and we assume they know that.  But there is a difference between being loved and feeling loved.  So true!
  • You are a psychological mirror that your children use to build their identity.
  • Be aware of giving technology more attention than we give our children.  Do our eyes light up when our children enter a room?  They should!  This one struck a chord with me as I am usually on the computer when Eli gets up in the morning (Zoe is still sleeping).  Sometimes I am frantically trying to get a post out and on those days I just give him a quick hug as I am typing away on the computer.  I was never really a computer person and since I have started blogging, I'm becoming more attached to the computer, and I'm not sure I like that.  I love blogging, but I also want to "be there and be present" with my kids more.  So, I have decided to blog when they are at school, before they get up, and after they go to sleep.  I don't want them to think the computer is more important then my time with them. 
  • Sometimes as mothers we habitually attend to what is missing or what is wrong instead of building up the good stuff.  The speaker told a story of when she got so frustrated with her son for forgetting things and missing the bus.  She dropped him off at the school with all the weight of her lecture weighing him down.  As she was about to take off, her younger son rolled down the window and called out to his older brother: "I love you!"  Have you had days like this when you are frantically racing around trying to get the kids off to school.  You're cranky because they are slow to get going or are forgetting/losing things?  I have had mornings like this and I feel terrible after as I've sent my kids off to school feeling sad or angry.  That's really not a great way to start the day.  We have to sometimes remember that these are kids and they have only been on this earth for 12 or 7 years in my case.  We've had 40 years (in my case) to learn these things, lets give them a break and ease up a bit.  They are more important than the things they are losing or being late for, right?  
  • Kids are such a work in progress...we should put ourselves in their shoes.  So true!  They are kids, and they're learning so much at all times.  Remember, they need time to play and just be kids.  Let's not rush them to be adults or over extend them so that they never know what "down time" is.  Kids need to get bored in order to get creative.  If they never sit and get quiet with themselves, then how are they going to learn about themselves.  My kids had plenty of downtime this summer, and there was plenty of complaining of being bored in the beginning, but by the end of the summer, they were following their bliss and creating and playing.  They figured it out!
  • Find the goodness in each child and build that up.  Reinforce the good parts of the day and how they made you feel.  We all need positive feedback, right?  WOW, I so get this.  I love when I get a compliment and hear psotive feedback.  Think about how wonderful we feel when someone says a kind word, now think about how great our kids feel when their parent says something nice.  We mean the world to our kids, and hearing something nice with a smile attached can make all the difference in the world.  
  • Compliment kids in front of the other kids...pray about how grateful you are for them with them at your side. This part comes naturally to me, and I know how much it means for kids to hear praise from other adults besides their parents. Some of my greatest compliments and the ones that really motivated me came from parents of my friends and from my teachers.  
  • Undivided attention with each child is so important!  I so try and do this often.  I love the time I get with both Zoe, and Eli and I know it makes a difference to them.  Not having to compete with the other sibling and talk all they want about whatever they want and for however long, makes a HUGE difference in their day.  
  • We are all encumbered and frazzled by so many things.  We need to be sure that we acknowledge that those sweet children are so much more important than a phone call, email, blog post, etc.  YES, YES, YES.  This is a great reminder.  We as parents in this technology driven society need to be reminded of this.  
Anyway, these words inspired me and I feel like they might inspire you as well.  

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