Sometimes, it just takes a simple moment
to remind us of a profound principle.
Kids learn best when we show the way
and they experience the good.
They have to feel it and touch it,
not just be told over and over.
I experienced this recently with my Larson.
She has just turned 3 and has been breaking my heart on Mondays.
She CRIES because she can’t go to school like Ella.
Larson only goes two days per week.
A little ego blow that she’d rather be at school then with mom,
but I don’t blame her.
Mondays look like laundry, cleaning up something like THIS, errands, emails, etc.
School looks like play, structure, friends and excellent teachers.
So, on this particular Monday I decided to weave structure into my morning. Someone recently told me those spirited children need structure more than anything. OK, sold.
Let her actually DO SOMETHING FUN while I attempted to creep through my list of house chores.
So, she started painting and I saw the scribbles. I don’t know what a 3-year-old artist is supposed to do nor do I care. However, I knew she could do more and I just hadn’t shown her.
So, I painted her this and said,
“Larson I bet you could paint a flower JUST LIKE THIS, want to try?”
And immediately, she painted me this!
How cool is that?
Her second attempt was this.
I was so giddy.
She was beaming with pride. She was giddy with accomplishment.
I was struck with this idea of potential with my kids. They are capable of so much when we take the time to show them.
My Larson learns best when SHOWN the way.
The same with kindness or generosity or sharing. They just need us to show them. Act it out. Maybe 10 times or 100 times. Show them the way. They will see it, feel it and repeat it.
That is why I did LIGHT EM UP over Christmas. I wanted them to feel and experience serving others with a genuine heart. I wanted it happening SO early in their life that it would just be a part of the core of our family.
I’m not sure what our last few “Mommy/Larson” days will look like before school is out, but I’m hopeful she’ll be just as excited to be with mom and I’ll be reminded that I can do it. I am a good teacher. It doesn’t take much to open her eyes and mine.
I hope you’ll be reminded today in some small moment that you have what it takes to teach these kiddos. Little things and big things.
You are a GREAT mom.
Here are just a few simple ideas on how to SHOW THEM a few great things, so they can EXPERIENCE the good and maybe just maybe it’ll stick.
Ideas on SHOWING THEM THE WAY.
SHOW THEM how to shower love on Daddy. Make Daddy feel he is the most loved man in the world by discussing Father’s Day now. Ideas coming soon from me.
SHOW THEM kindness with Light Em Up all year long! Or make a habit of how they treat everyone in your path (i.e. Have a Nice Day). I don’t let mine leave a restaurant or store without a meaningful impression on those that served us.
SHOW THEM true sharing even when it hurts by getting on the floor during playtime and literally teaching them how it works, more than once. Or, share toys by donating to local children’s home.
SHOW THEM pur goodness by thinking of of 5 friends or neighbors that need a special treat or act of kindness from your family this summer.
SHOW THEM respect (ouch) with how we treat them and their daddy. Try to catch them being respectful to someone of authority. Create a jar or sticker chart. Make it a huge deal when it’s seen. Respect is hard to define – so when you see it – POINT IT OUT! (how they asked for that, how they shook his hand, how they looked in that teacher’s eyes, how they waited their turn to talk, etc.)
Don’t try to tackle everything at once. Pick 1-3 virtues (tons not listed) of areas you’d like to focus on in your house, and remember just SHOWING THEM how and having them make progress is something to celebrate. Repition and consistency! Don’t give up. I haven’t even though I want to some days. You will see rewards, I have for sure.