My blonde sweet girl got a hold of my phone and started snapping away picture after picture. She runs excitedly back to me and shows me what she did.
As I scroll through the pictures I am reminded that her view is different than mine. The lens through which she looks at things is different.
I sometimes forget that. I forget that she doesn’t always know how to make wise choices, do the right thing, or how to tackle tough situations.
I need this reminder sometimes as a parent. A reminder to be there to help her make wise choices, to guide her towards the things that are right.
It may seem obvious that a six year old has a different view than a parent, and I agree, though my blonde sweet girl carries herself much older than her six years.
It’s her strong will, her caring of others, her strength to see things through that makes me forget she still has lots to learn.
I don’t want to break her spirit because she is going to need it to be strong as she grows, I do however see the need to bend it a bit to keep it growing in the right direction.
A seasoned mom whose kids are now grown once shared with me that we as parents are like gardeners, and our children trees. As I gardener you plant the tree in good, fertile soil. You water the tree and give it sun so it may grow. As it grows the branches begin to spread out more and more. Sometimes a branch may shoot off in the wrong direction. The branch is the spirit, and will of a child. The gardener sees the branch setting out to grow in the wrong direction and with a soft, loving heart and strong hands the gardener climbs onto a ladder with some string, takes hold of the branch and with the string wraps it around the branch tying it to the trunk slowly bringing it back to the direction that it should be growing.
What a great reminder of how to bend not break your child’s spirit as they grow.
Here are some things that my hubby and I have done to make sure that our blonde sweet girl has continued to grow in the right direction keeping her spirit strong:
1. Open Communication:
Allowing her to share all her stories about the day, she has a real lot to say, and finds value in us listening to her every word.
2.Make Your Own Choices:
Our blonde sweet girl loves to make interesting fashion choices with her hair, clothes and shoes. We roll with it allowing her to feel confident in the choices she has made. We ask her to change when things are not appropriate.
For example: wanting to wear a tank top in 10 degree weather.
It gives us a chance to talk to her about wise choices.
3.Choose Your Friends Wisely:
This is one that we have with all three kids, but for our strong sweet girl its been a little harder. She wants to hang out with the friends she has chosen and that’s that. Only her choices aren’t always the right ones. She is at the age where mom doesn’t come to all the play dates anymore..which scares me…making it all the more important to make the right choice in friends. We have had lots of chats about why she can’t hang out over so and so’s house.
What is the alternative…invite them over to our house! I can keep an eye and ear on things going on and step in with a warm plate of cookies if I see and hear things that are not good.
4.Knowing What To Do When Your On Empty:
When our blonde sweet girl is tired or hungry watch out, no really watch out! That strong spirit of hers flares up and not in a good way. How do we manage it? We try to catch it before it gets out of hand.
A little snack when she is hungry.
Allowing her to have the alone time that she needs. Sometimes after school she gets a snack, chats about her day and then slowly inches off to play by herself..we have come to learn that she needs that time after being surrounded by people all day.
Get enough sleep..everyone does better in their day when they have had sweet rest and just the right amount!
When she gets frustrated or angry the words just start flying out quicker than she realizes and we calmly remove her from the situation and tell her to take five in her room or downstairs. We give her a chance to calm down and then we try to talk with her. If she is not ready we give her five more minutes. Usually by the second time she is ready to chat!
These are just some of the ways that we have reminded ourselves that the view from 4 ft is different than ours. Sometimes it helps to bend to our knees to see things through her lens and while there embrace her in a hug that tells her she is loved and cherished!
She has kept us on our knees for snuggles and prayers and she is only six, on our knees is where will stay as we continue to watch our beautiful tree blossom into something amazing.