Week 36 | Be Open to the Lessons

What lessons are your children teaching you?  This week, snap a photo with your phone of a moment when you are being taught a lesson -- any lesson at all.  Tell us what that lesson is all about.

Shawn @ AA/P52

Oh the lessons.  There were many.  There are many.  All the time.  Are you finding them?  They are a bit like those glow-sticks from the fair, if you don't put them to use right away they will soon fade off and be useless.  And many of them do fade away.  


My oldest has had an awesome calm energy after school, in a way that makes me look back at the summer moments of pent up energy and frustration as maybe having something to do with not having much of an outlined plan other than where they'd be for the day, meals, naps and bath times.  

Lesson: Perhaps she needed more structure than I was giving her.  

Plan:  I value our slow days where we can just go with the flow, but perhaps I can give the girls something on those slow weekend days to look forward to.  Just one thing, that I can stick to.  And next time I see her slipping into that frazzled energy, I will try to remember to add a little more of a mindful framework to the day.


They don't need naps as much as I think they do.  Or is it - as much as I want them to need to?  My most hair-pulling, power-struggling moments lately have been related to one or the other or both getting up multiple times when I KNOW they need a nap.  How do I KNOW?  Because they didn't nap the day before (or the consecutive couple days prior if my oldest); Because their behavior leads me to believe that rest would be part of the solution; Because they were up late the night before; Because, well, it's just what was part of my planned day; Because, well, shouldn't they want to nap (I do!)?

Lesson: Maybe I have been needing their naps more than they have.  

Plan: Set up quiet time, where they can fall asleep if their eyelids are heavy enough, but where they can learn the benefits of a simple wind down period, and where I can get some stuff done, too.  Everyone wins, no hair is lost, no one gets upset, no wondering where defiance ends and pointless-power-struggle begins, nobody feels like they failed. 


My youngest had a series of objects taken away lately because she wasn't listening.  "I don't want to" has become such a regular part of her vocabulary lately that I have gotten used to just hearing a quiet "to" to mean that it preceded with "I don't want…".  As planned, she got to have her baby (doll) back because she got ready without any whining, which was a HUGE deal for ME!  I exaggerated, I played it up.  She smiled, took her baby, walked half-way down the stairs and turned to me.  "I don't really want my baby".  I stood there, half way down the stairs, holding baby while she descended down to proceed with the rest of her day.  

Lesson: She is not her sister.  

Plan: Pull out some parenting books.    


My hubby came up with a great plan last night.  We were invited to friends' to watch the Mayweather Fight.  Since the girls didn't nap, and since we knew (we JUST KNEW) they would likely melt down and cause a scene, I was going to go to their house early, then come home and let Rich head over for the Main Event.  Once I got there my friends insisted that the girls come over.  No, that's a bad idea we replied.  And finally, texts to my husband lead him to packin 'em up in the car, in jammies, to come over and hang with my friends and their kids.  It was a fun.  It was spontaneous.  It was "against" what we both felt was a "good idea" and it turned out to be a blast for the kids, it gave my friends a chance to see them as they hadn't in a long time.   The kids played with their (older) kids, and everyone had fun.  No (major) meltdowns.  

Lesson: Sometimes it's worth it to be spontaneous, even if it's despite what we feel is "best".

Plan: Do more with friends, as a family.


And, this morning, just an hour ago.  I was sitting on the couch with my youngest, who had woken up late and groggy (she's my baby bear in the morning).  I realized the water was running and I looked up to see that Mayson was hard at work, cleaning the dishes.  I didn't ask her to; she had never done them before.  I let her do them, even though the water was running on full blast the whole time, even though I thought the pot was too heavy for her to be able to maneuver, even though I have never really shown her how.  Eventually she asked me to watch what she was doing.  She hand washed about 8 dishes that were in the sink.  And, impressively, she did a fantastic job.  She was so proud.  I was, too.

Lesson: My girl who needs structure needs more structure, in a big-kid way.

Plan: Make that chore chart that I talked about making a while back.  Even if we don't follow it to a tee…even if it isn't the most amazing thing I have ever created…I just need to make it.  Not because I want to enforce child labor, but because they are simple things for my children to feel proud about, and it creates a sense of ownership for keeping up this home we love.  

 © Houseman 2013