It’s 8:00 in the morning on a Saturday and I hear somebody giggling in my room and feel that same someone breathing on me? I guess I did a good enough job ignoring the intentional pitter patters running up and down the stairs designed to wake me up, so these kids had to take it to the next level and come invading my bed space! Well let me wake up literally and figuratively…. let me explain.
I have a confession to make: I’m not a natural kid lover! Those who know me best will tell you I can mentor high school or college students with the best of them, but you give me anything younger than puberty age and I’m a little lost. Between making an infant stop crying, a toddler stop throwing temper tantrums, and a teenager lose the attitude, it’s like learning another language to me. With that being said, as my wife and I start to plan to have children of our own, I have began to put more effort into learning and developing patience. Here are a few lessons I’ve learned so far:
1) Technology is the gift and the curse.
I swear, as I watched these children this week, they are so engaged in electronics that I had to literally take all the Ipads, Iphones, Ipods and Iwhatevers and hide them. Between the Internet, games, and music I thought they were literally addicted! Although it keeps them entertained (I.E. quiet) I was interested in interaction, creativity, and problem solving skills so I pulled out some throwbacks: Jenga, Connect Four and Checkers, and took them to an art studio to paint. We made our own custom pizzas and desserts and while doing all of these things what I noticed was that these kids enjoyed most were the human interactions and not the electronic one. While we played, painted and cooked it was like the electronics didn’t even exist anymore. I guess there is still some power in human connection after all.
2) I can’t mistake inquiring for disrespect.
The more I interact with kids the more I realize that some of them are very advanced in their language and the way they think. Sometimes they challenge you and ask questions that could easily be deemed as disrespectful but many times it’s just them inquiring. I grew up in a “because I said so” environment, so sometimes that’s my immediate reaction, but then I realize that critical thinking is so important to growth and development. The hard part is knowing when to draw the line between engaging in the conversation and saying, “because I said so!” Y’all are going to help me out with that one.
3) Boys and girls are different, even from a young age.
My two little cousins are twins, one boy and one girl. When they walked in the house immediately I asked them to take their things upstairs. I look and the little girl has neatly placed all of her things in a corner and the little boy just threw his stuff in 4 different corners. Then they wake up in the morning and the little girl can’t wait to go shower and brush her teeth and wash face…it’s like pulling teeth to get the little boy to focus long enough to do the same! Finally I realized that little girls will walk, but little boys must just run track immediately out of the womb because walking isn’t part of their routine! Okay I know I’m generalizing but these were my observations!
4) It is so sexy watching a woman nurture and mother!
One of the reasons I chose my wife was because I always loved her ability to nurture. I watched her with her sisters and it never gets old to me watching her nurture and asserts herself in a motherly role. Many might think it’s unattractive, but I think it’s down right SEXY! Although it can be a struggle for me at times, it seems to come so natural to my wife and that’s just another reason why I’m grateful every day that I chose her. I must say that she thought she was slick by leaving me by myself with the kids for hours at a time. I know she was testing me but I survived!
Lets just say I might not have my own family yet, but I’m learning and I’m grateful to have a partner who is learning right along with me!
BMWK Fam what are some of your best parenting lessons or advice that you can offer?
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