Monday, July 16, 2012

Three bits of knowledge (I probably knew already)

In between loads of laundry (mine, Little Guy's, and then today Snuggler's) I've been thinking about the Cub Scout camping trip. When you're around 19 boys for an entire week, certain truths become self-evident:

1. EVERY kid has good qualities that show up unexpectedly. The slasher-movie boy turned out to be a sensitive artist. A spider-phobic kid was amazing at helping others calm down (as long as arachnids weren't involved). When strengths appear in someone else's kid we're pleasantly surprised, and often comment positively. We don't always do the same with our own children.

  • Reminder to self: Notice your child's strengths, and don't keep your pleasure to yourself. Tell him something genuinely positive about what you see in him. 
2. EVERY kid is a work in progress. Some have awful tempers, some are astounding weasels, some are bald-faced liars or endless whiners, and others struggle with social skills or are too-easily influenced or are moody or mouthy or wrestle with anxieties. It's can be refreshing to remember that it's not just your kid who's got flaws. 

  • Reminder to self: Work on the issues there are to work on, and keep things in perspective. Our job to help our kids grow into healthy, productive, community-building, coping adults -- and it's work. Good work.
3. EVERY kid lives mainly in the moment. Children aren't particularly good at seeing how their actions positively affect others. It makes a difference to say frankly, "Hey, you made my life easier with your good attitude about picking up the trash. Thanks. You set a good example." 

  • Reminder to self: If you don't reinforce character traits, chances are your kids won't know you value them. Think of the character qualities your child has. When was the last time you told her you value her honesty... reliability... ability to choose good friends... self control... resourcefulness... thoughtfulness... ability to avoid jumping in with the crowd...? 

1 comment:

  1. Wow - this was a VERY helpful blog; thanks for sharing, Julia!!! :0)