Some Things My Kids Taught Me This Week

Summer fun.

Summer fun.

In our part of the country we’ve already been on summer vacation for a month so while some of you are just getting started, I’m already knee deep in “I’m bored.” And it’s been really hot here – like 110 degrees – so most days we’re just trying to not combust. My kids are 5 and 6 so in addition to keeping them alive, they look to me to be their entertainment committee. Some days I’m all about enriching their lives with memory-making activities and other days it’s all about Minecraft and YouTube toy review videos. But just because they’re tiny doesn’t mean they can’t contribute. Here are some examples of what I’ve learned from them this week:

It’s nice to have something to look forward to. I’m not the over scheduling type so other than a family vacation in July, my kids are signed up for one activity this summer. My son is taking karate and my daughter is taking dance. Even though the classes are only twice a week, they love knowing that they have something fun coming up. I’m the same way. There’s nothing like the anticipation of a box from Amazon being thrown over my fence to make my outlook a little brighter.

When we don’t feel like we’re being heard, we talk louder. Or scream or cry. Or flail our arms in a wild tantrum. Nothing escalates a disagreement between kids faster than a grownup intervening by yelling the loudest. Calmly saying, “I’m listening. I hear you,” goes a long way in diffusing the situation. Kids (and grownups) need a little reassurance that someone is listening and cares (assuming they can hear you above the yelling).

Exercise is good. It releases tension and gets the wiggles out making it possible to walk through Target without a temper tantrum. Time that trip right and you might even be able to try on shoes.

When in a pinch, clean enough works just fine. That goes for bedrooms, sticky faces and stained clothes but maybe not so much for butts. I have to draw the line somewhere.

A 5 year old's version of a clean room.

A 5 year old’s version of a clean room.

Sometimes, making a friend is as easy as saying, “Yes.” Some kids jump right into new situations and others freeze as if held back by an invisible force. My son hides behind my legs while my daughter gives strangers a cold stare that makes them think twice about sticking their fingers in the cage. When she started dance classes, she wasn’t sure what to think of the other kids but all it took to break the ice was one little girl coming up to her and asking, “Do you want to run to the wall and back?” “Yes!” she replied and off they went. While she played with her new friend my deepest desire was to ignore the other parents by playing an intense game of Pyramid Saga on my phone but I resisted the urge and made small talk with them instead. And you know what? It was nice. They were nice and I enjoyed myself.

If you don’t want anyone to know you did it, don’t draw attention to it. For example, “Who farted?”

It’s going to be a very long summer. But it still doesn’t compare to what my mom had to go through with 3 solid months of summer vacation and no internet.

14 Comments on “Some Things My Kids Taught Me This Week

  1. I LOVE your daughter’s room. It matches my 7-year-old’s room. And thank you — I’m going to channel you and your daughter when I’m in social settings. I may still drag my feet about saying, “Yes.” But you’ll be with me and I’ll smile as I decide between my fabulous phone and socializing. XO

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    • I went to a different dance class of hers and all the parents were glued to their phones and I was actually disappointed!

      I let my daughter keep her room like that for a week until I couldn’t stand it anymore and I cleaned it for her! It was just too much.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I love your daughter’s clean room!

    And this lesson especially: “When we don’t feel like we’re being heard, we talk louder.”
    So true.
    It has a counterpart too, and that’s sometimes “When we don’t feel like we’re being heard, we stop talking.” I stopped sharing with some people because they never listened.

    Happy Summer! xo

    Like

    • That counterpart was true for me as well. I have to be really careful about the messages I send my daughter because she’s, well let’s face it, a total chatterbox. It’s hard to teach her that it’s not always appropriate to talk incessantly without silencing her bright spirit. She wants to be a movie star and judging by her dramatic room cleaning, I think she could be! xxoo

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I loved this, Karen! Oh, the things we can learn from our kiddos if we slow down long enough to do so. Those photos are priceless (SO stealing the middle clean strip!)
    Your children are so blessed to have a mom who recognizes a moment, lives IN the moment…and then writes it down.
    Much love to you and yours as summer continues to fly by.

    *Wanna run to the wall and back?

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  4. I spent Wednesday afternoon with my children and we went to SkyMax which is a series of indoor trampolines and so fun and I love my kids. We bought hot glue guns and intricately folded and glued paper together as directed on YouTube videos to make rubber band launchers. Later we swung as high as we could on swings and made loud growling lion noises. My oldest son can make beluga whale sounds that crack me up. And did I mention that I love my kids?!
    I was in therapy and we were talking about compassion. I thought about being a wife and a mom. I said something about how I might not want to get better if it wasn’t for my kids and that knowing they need me and love me is so powerful. She reflected back that this is the beauty and truth about children. They give us purpose and meaning and love and really when I think I’m doing everything wrong and not enough of what they need that I realize that all they neededed was loving play and attention and to be heard. Love goes a long way.

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    • Beluga whale sounds? That’s awesome! I love YouTube but I’m a little afraid of trampolines. 😉 My kids were being loud and playful in a store the other day and I told my daughter to stop making her brother laugh. She said, “But mommy, it’s my special talent!” I thought to myself stop being so uptight. The world needs more laughing children.

      Love does go a long way, especially for those of us who grew up in troubled families. My kids trigger me, challenge me and adore me and I need it all. ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  5. This is PERFECT! I love what kids teach us if we just have the sense to stop and listen…

    Enjoy your summer!

    Sherry

    Liked by 1 person

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