Thirteen Lessons Learned from my Kids
- Persistence. We are trying to get Princess JL to stop needing “potty breaks” in the middle of the night, so we cut off all drinks after 7pm. But, this does not stop her from coming in the room and saying, “Mommy, can I have a yogurt? Please? Thank you.” And then she quickly turns and walks briskly away … and continues until she figures out we aren’t giving in. I have to admire her persistence though (and her manners)!
- Believe. Princes JF has such a huge imagination. She loves to have tea parties and, when she was 2, had a long list of imaginary friends. Oh how I wish I could be like her. If only my beliefs could carry me delightfully through the day as she allows hers to!
- Dream. Prince W loves to entertain (all the kids do … but he more than the girls). He doesn’t care if it’s telling jokes, doing impersonations, singing, dancing, whatever he feels like … he simply has the desire to entertain … so he does. He has big dreams and I pray that he and his sisters all follow their hearts desires throughout their lives.
- Self-confidence. This is something I have always struggled with, but our Drama Queen has plenty of confidence! She is so sure of herself and I admire that about her. I do not want her to be conceited, although I do want her to be sure of herself and be strong enough to stand up for her beliefs and what she knows is right as she progresses into her teenage years.
- Frugality. When we won a new TV at a company Christmas party a year ago, my kids found more joy in the box than the new TV. They even slept in it for a night. It seems that my kids can always find greater joy in a box, paper plate, paper pieces, etc than in the toys or other items we actually pay money for!
- Openness. How hard is it for us, as adults, to open up to others? My youngest two (and the older two as well depending on the person) get such a kick out of telling others all about their day, showing off their toys, their rooms, etc. I try to remain such a private person, but my kids have no secrets … they lay everything out on the table. No shame.
- Be fearless. “Evil Knievel” is a household name for us. Each of my kids has, at one time or another, proudly carried the nickname. Right now, it’s our 2 year old, who seriously has no fear. She will jump off anything in the house, no matter how tall. She will defiantly shout “No!” to anyone who tries to discipline her (my parents, her aunt, uncle, whoever) … she has absolutely no fear. With all my social anxieties, how I wish I could have an ounce of her fearlessness!
- Live life. My kids have no down time during the day it seems! Princess JF and JL can go all day without ceasing. If I had half the energy they did I could finish 5 projects a day. They seem to be relentless. “Mommy, do this with me.” “Mommy, can we do that?” It’s non-stop, but, unfortunately for them, Mommy is! It seems nothing can stop them from living each day to its fullest and getting the most they can out of every moment.
- Be creative. Drama Queen recently decided to make some sort of invention out of grapefruit. I’m still not sure what it was, but I find pride in knowing she has the desire to create. Sometimes we need to step outside the box and create new things “just because.”
- Be free. Princess JL loves to run around naked (although she’s getting better about wearing clothes … she still has no shame in running free). Princess JF and JL both enjoy running around the house, spinning, laughing, rolling on the ground … just expressing themselves in whichever manner fits the moment. There is no more beautiful sound than children laughing. They truly know how to just be free in their self-expression and in life.
- Just breathe. We use a time out in the bedroom for discipline, one minute per year of age. Sometimes I have to take my own “Mommy time out” to just breathe and pray about the burdens I need to release. Funny how that works for both young and old. Although, my kids don’t typically like their time outs as much as I enjoy mine!
- Responsibility. Princess JF doesn’t completely understand the difference between “on purpose” and “on accident” quite yet. When something happens she says, “It was on purpose, Mommy.” I always have to correct her. But, without fail, she also tends to follow it with, “I’m sorry. It’s all my fault!” Then she cries until I explain that it was an accident and she’s not to blame. In our adult life we tend to look the other way and ignore those things for which we are responsible … yet how easy it is to say, “I’m sorry. It’s my fault.”
- Unconditional love. Other than Christ, I have never experienced unconditional love the way I have from my children. When I cry, they cry. When I need a hug, they are there with arms wide open. When I’m upset, they try to make it better. I can get onto them one minute, and the next they are on my lap kissing and hugging all over me. I can do no wrong in their eyes (yet anyways) and they love me relentlessly at the start and end of the day … no matter what! I truly love my kids!
I tell you the truth, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Therefore, whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. – Matthew 18:3-4
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