I often post about the innocence and brutal honesty of children and how we as Parents, learn some of the greatest life lessons from them. But there are also times, when something they say or do just knocks you off your game and you cannot help but think to yourself, wow, what a kid! I try to not do this too often, but since I am the one writing the blog, you’ll just have to indulge me a little bit while I tell you about how my little princess recently blew my mind.
My long standing joke about my daughter, whenever someone asks me how old she is, I am quick to say, “She’s 5 going on 16!”. I usually say this to convey several different messages about my daughter, without having to actually having to say it. She behaves more maturely than one would imagine and believe me, I recognize this could be a good or a bad thing. I tend to follow my joke up with examples of some of the crazy stuff she has either said or done. Of course I am not suggesting she is perfect – far from it but the purity of her logic suggest to me a maturity that exceeds that of even some adults.
Case in point, after picking her up from school the other day, we began our ritual of me trying to pull out information from her on how her day was. Eventually, we get into the drama of the day: who got time out, what so and so wore and so on. On this particular day she seemed a tad more somber than she usually does. She wasn’t coming out and saying what was bothering her. I began to think the worst – did something happen to her at school and who shall I give an earful to at the school for making my baby sad. But then she proceeds to tell me about her day – and I couldn’t believe what I was hearing. She explained to me that the boys in her class were taunting another boy, all because he happens to share the same name as a Disney character. And as you can imagine, the more upset the boy became, the more he was taunted. Seeing what was happening and seeing that the little boy was on the verge of crying, my daughter tells me, “I just went over there.” Wanting to know more, I ask her what happened next. She proceeds to tell me how she told the other boys to “stop it” and that “it wasn’t nice” and she would tell the teacher if they would not stop! And that the boys stopped what they were doing and went on to playing with something else. Who is this kid, right? Now, I wouldn’t sit here and try to convince you that we should receive some sort of Parent of the Year award for my daughter’s actions, but it warm my soul to no end, to see my daughter exercise her sense between right and wrong and stand up for others.
But if that wasn’t enough, the other morning as we are walking to her classroom, another Parent asks to speak with me. Fearing the unknown, I step aside to discuss whatever is on their mind. She says to me, “I just wanted you to know how special your little girl is. My daughter doesn’t really talk to the other kids but I always see your daughter go up to her and ask her to play – that’s a really great thing – thank you.” I melt right there into a puddle.
I was taught from an early age that integrity consisted of doing what was right when no one was watching. It seems to me that parenting is a lot like this: We can tell how good of a job we are doing by how well our children interact with society, when we are not around. And ultimately, shouldn’t that be our ultimate goal as Parents – that our children make the right choices? It goes without saying how precious our children are – sure they need to be disciplined, and sometimes they get on our nerves but sometimes they serve as the perfect reminder of what truly should matter when raising them.
I am convinced that our children are very aware of the world around them. They recognize what makes sense and question what doesn’t They see and experience the differences between right and wrong and justice and injustice – they are well in tuned. But least we forget that they are still impressionable children, who are more compliant with what we do rather than what we say. It all comes down to us to guide our children in understanding what they see and experience. For as smart as we think our children are or as mature as we think they behave, there is still a wealth of knowledge for them to absorb – and how well we do will eventually be reflected in how our little ones treat other – let’s not mess this up!